Ep 36 Secrets, solace and deafness with Fiona Murphy

Fiona Murphy was born deaf in one ear, and for 25 years, she kept her deafness a secret. The Shape of Sound shares her journey to understand the extraordinary and surprising ways in which her deafness has affected her life and identity.

In episode 36 of James and Ashley Stay at Home, we speak to Deaf poet and essayist Fiona Murphy. Her work has been published in Kill Your Darlings, Overland, Griffith Review and the Big Issue, among other publications. In 2019, she was awarded the Overland Fair Australia Essay Prize and the Monash Undergraduate Creative Writing Prize. In 2018, she was shortlisted for the Richell Prize and highly commended by the Wheeler Centre Next Chapter program.

In this episode, we learn about her experience developing a Deaf identity and coming to identify as disabled, and we also discuss how she came to write her beautiful memoir, in part through a brush with stand-up comedy.

Plus, Fiona shares her experience with vulnerability hangovers (they’re definitely a thing), tinnitus, and the corrosive power of secrets.

And of course we discuss author Andrew Solomon, because at this point we’re basically just a Far From the Tree tribute podcast.

Books and authors discussed in this episode
Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon
The Past by Tessa Hadley
The Iceman by John Sandford
Storm Prey by John Sandford
Love, Clancy by Richard Glover
Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover

Join Ashley and a great line-up of authors for the Writers Unleashed Festival happening online, Saturday 21 August!

Listen to episode 36 of James and Ashley Stay at Home here, or on Apple podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, or your favourite podcast app, and find out about past episodes here.