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Jessica White: Hearing Maud [Melbourne]

Jessica White: Hearing Maud [Melbourne]

Ticketing Information



Wednesday October 9, 2019 - 6:15 PM


The Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne, Victoria 3000


Free - but please book.


Linda D'Ornay & Teale Nicholls

Language/ Cultural Consultant:


About the Show

At age four, Jessica White lost most of her hearing through bacterial meningitis. Growing up in an isolated rural community among hearing people, she was raised as a hearing person. She wasn’t taught to sign.

As an adult researcher, White discovered the story of Maud Praed, the deaf daughter of 19th-century Queensland novelist Rosa Praed, who was taught to speak rather than sign despite having no hearing at all. White realised how difficult her and Maud’s lives had been because of the expectation that deaf people should be like hearing people – rather than learning their own language and culture.

In Hearing Maud – a highly unusual and original work of creative nonfiction – White unpicks the connections and intersections between Maud Praed’s life and her own. She delves, too, into the history of deafness in Australian literature, both by and about deaf people. White’s eloquent and affecting account of her own daily frustrations with hearing tells us both how much and how little things have changed since Maud lived. Have we really evolved in our understanding of speech and deafness?

Part memoir and part biography, Hearing Maud is about finding kindred spirits in history. Join this singular voice in Australian literature for a discussion with Fiona Wright about writing, disability, and how we try, and fail, and try again to understand each other.

Readings will be our bookseller for this event.


Find out more about the Wheeler Centre and accessibility here.
For more information, or to further discuss your accessibility needs with us, call us on (+61) 3 9094 7800 – or email