True Biz by Sara Nović
True biz (adj/exclamation; American Sign Language): really, seriously, definitely, real-talk
True Biz is an own-voices novel that takes place at River Valley School for the Deaf, a residential school for deaf students, and follows three vastly different protagonists with overlapping stories: Charlie, a reluctant transfer-student who has spent her whole life trying to assimilate in hearing schools; Austin, the school golden boy standing on the shoulders of five generations of deaf people only to have his world rocked by the arrival of his hearing baby sister; and February, the school’s enduring headmistress who is fighting for both her school and her marriage. True Biz is a must-read for everyone, providing an enlightening and vital look into the realities of deaf people all over the country. Aside from her powerful commentary on topics such as the beauty of sign language to the injustice surrounding cochlear implants, Nović provides insight into both romantic and platonic relationships, dealing with grief, civil rights, and the intersectionality of deaf struggles.
Column by Sureena Lakhanpal