Archive for November, 2012

What if you grew up with a seal mother and a human father?

Fionnuala is such a daughter – a part-human, part-seal Deaf woman who grows up with her father in Ireland, falls in love with another woman in India, struggles with her own identity while living in Italy, and finally discovers herself within a place of her own being and a world of her own choosing.

She’s the main character in MAKARA – a new book written by first-time novelist Kristen Ringman, and published by Handtype Press.

Handtype Press is a publishing company based in Minnesota, established by Raymond Luczak. Luczak, who grew up deaf in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, graduated from Gallaudet University in 1988 and spent seventeen years in New York City writing stageplays and books before moving to Minneapolis in 2005. In publishing MAKARA, Raymond explains

“When I first read the manuscript of Kristen Ringman’s novel MAKARA, I knew I was in for a treat.  With her book, I loved being taken outside of my own Judeo-Christian background and getting lost in a world that has so much to teach me.  Here and there in the book certain Indian goddesses and gods lend a visceral timbre to the story, which I think many Pagans would appreciate, particularly if they’re Deaf and do not always feel as if they fit in anywhere.”

For a further description of the book and Raymond’s explanation of his decision to publish it, check out this video:

So far the book has been receiving favorable reviews:

But MAKARA…is much more than its plot. It’s a unique environment. Ringman’s smalltown Irish setting, her lovingly detailed portrait of India, and her romantic vision of Venice remain separate places bounded by plot points, but they also meld seamlessly into an emotional landscape…The concepts of fantasy and reality are similarly mashed up and reimagined into an atmosphere where anything is possible and the commonplace is as rare as a faerie circle.

~ Jerry Wheeler, “Out In Print” 

I just recently received my own copy of the book, and plan to put aside some time this weekend to sit down with a glass of wine and read it. Somehow, I think I’m going to enjoy it as much as Jerry and other reviewers have.

Congratulations to Kristen and Raymond, and I wish you both the best of success!

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