The University of Wisconsin Press

Fiction / Gay Interest / Middle East


The Deaf-Mute Boy
Joseph Geraci

Terrace Books

"I was powerfully moved and haunted by The Deaf-Mute Boy. Joseph Geraci's deft and emotionally nuanced seduction of the reader—even as our protagonist is enchanted by Tunisia—struck me as truly remarkable."—Tim Miller, author of 1001 Beds

The Deaf-Mute Boyequal parts travel story, love story, and a resonant confrontation with the Muslim worldis the tale of a gay American professor immersed in a North African society. Maurice Burke, an archaeologist, is invited to speak at a conference in the bustling port town of Sousse, Tunisia. At first disillusioned by its rampant tourism and squalid commercialism, Maurice becomes intrigued by his surroundings after meeting a local deaf-mute boy. While exploring a vibrant souk, Maurice encounters a religious leader who guides him on a fateful introduction to the boy's family. As Maurice's involvement with the deaf-mute boy intensifies, he finds himself drawn into a maze of Tunisian politics, culture, and religion.

"Once Tunisia was the land of Gide and de Montherlanteroticized, romantic, 'oriental'–but that was then and this is now. Overrun by tourists and fundamentalists–post-colonial, melancholic and inexplicable, threatened and threatening–it is still seductive. The Deaf-Mute Boy is a devastatingly accurate portrayal of the reality behind the modern tourism facade."–Peter Lamborn Wilson

Joseph Geraci is the author of the novels Loving Sander and Marrying Tom, and editor of the anthology Dares to Speak. He was a member of the editorial collective of The Catholic Worker and is director of the Paidika Foundation in Amsterdam. For many years he has been a dealer in rare photographs.

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Of Related Interest
Cleopatra's Wedding Present: Travels through Syria
Robert Tewdwr Moss
New introduction by Lucretia Stewart

Geraci's book is illustrated with a sand-tinted photo.

November 2006

LC: 2006008063 PS
200 pp.    6 x 9

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Paper $21.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-21894-2
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