In This Sign (1970)

From the Jacket Cover

Abel and Janice Ryder begin their married life together with all the hopes and dreams of a young couple deeply in love. But before long they realize that their deafness stands as an immense barrier between them and a society that seems to work only for those who can hear. Inexperienced, ignorant, and bewildered, they leave the harsh environment of a school for the handicapped and enter the insensitive world of the hearing. Through years of debt and misunderstanding, hard and degrading work, the raising of a hearing daughter, common tragedies and joys, they learn that the remarkable tool of sign language enables them to survive and, indeed, to forge a love too powerful to be broken by the painful, extraordinary world into which they were born. In a story that spans four generations, we are witness to one family’s struggle to carve a place for itself out of the tides of wealth, war, and human strivings that have swept America in this century.

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Autor’s Notes

This novel was the first exploration in fictional form of the lives of deaf people that speaks positively of the use of Sign Language as he full and evocative language of deaf people. It enters the lives of two generations of a deaf couple and their hearing children. IT was the basis of a Hallmark Hall of Fame production called “Love Is Never Silent,” and this production also had some firsts: the first use of deaf actors in lead roles, the first use of Sign Language in a film without subtitles, and it featured a deaf woman as Associate Producer. This woman got the film made in spite of incredible obstacles. I am grateful to her and very, very proud.

-Joanne Greenberg

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