A memoir of the remarkable relationship between a young, single woman and the wild, beautiful deaf boy who, for a time, took the place of the son she’d lost, A THOUSAND VOICES is a song of love and grief and a profound meditation on the limits—and the limitlessness—of human language.
Jeri Parker first met Carlos Louis Salazar in 1964, when she was a high school teacher in Ogden, Utah and he was her friend Marianne Bentley’s student at the Utah School for the Deaf. Ten years old but “more otherworldly than childlike,” Carlos “wore his beauty like a gift to the world, but occasionally—and regularly when adolescence went through him like a fire—he ripped at it with something like disdain.”
If Carlos could charm anyone, there was danger in him too. He fathered and had to give up a child when he was still a teenager; he became loud and rude and “unmistakably mean”: he fought; he stole; he got involved with drugs. But when, still in his twenties, his kidneys failed and his life turned into an endless series of operations, he shone as he never had before. Strung with tubes and bed-bound, his struggling body borne down with the shadow of foreign masses, he soared—and carried those who were lucky enough to know him with him.
Jeri Parker grew up scrambling along riverbanks and forest paths in Idaho. She spent summers with her grandparents at a sawmill that was a few miles from Yellowstone National Park.
She taught high school and university students for many years, but it was when she met Carlos Louis Salazar, a ten-year-old deaf boy that she began to understand what language is and what the intricate steps of acquiring it involve.
Publications include Uneasy Survivors: Five Women Writers and poems and short stories in literary reviews. Jeri is an artist as well as writer. Her paintings are in private and public collections in Paris, Athens, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Sydney, and more than half of the states. One of the first works she did was a pencil portrait of Carlos.
She is presently co-owner of Wildflowers Bed and Breakfast. Her own domain is ruled by a spaniel, two cats, and five golden chickens.
About Jeri Parker
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Published November 9, 2011
by Winter Beach Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Parenting & Relationships.