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When Jennifer Rosner's firstborn baby fails her postnatal hearing test, Rosner is stunned: How will she and her husband, both hearing, raise a deaf child? How will they communicate with a baby who can't hear their voices? Although her mother is hard of hearing, Rosner has no real experience with deafness. But then she discovers a hidden history, going back generations to the ghettoes of Eastern Europe and the culture of shame that was attached to the "deaf and dumb."Now the parent of two congenitally deaf children, Rosner shares her journey into the modern world of the hearing impaired, and the tough decisions she and her husband have made about hearing aids, cochlear implants, and sign language. She also travels back in time to imagine her silent relatives who had few options but showed surprising creativity in dealing with a world that preferred to ignore them. If a Tree Falls is a memoir, a tale of the imagination, a guide for families with special-needs children and adults, and a poignant meditation on life's most unpredictable moments.Jennifer Rosner is the author of The Messy Self . She holds a PhD in philosophy from Stanford University and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband and two daughters.