Happy 4th! Today kicks off the blog tour for Learning to Stutter by Sherm Davis, presented by Elite Book Tours. My stop features an excerpt from the book. To follow the full tour, please visit here.
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Kenneth Kocher seems to have it all - a good heart, a sense of humor, decent looks, and lots of money. What he doesn't have is something most of us take for granted - freedom of speech. Kenneth lives with a severe stutter which has wreaked havoc with his life since childhood.
After much embarrassment, pain and soul-searching, Kenneth realizes that to free his inner self he must accept the fact that he cannot be cured, and that he must learn to stutter with grace. Along the way he meets another stutterer and a young widow who are both dealing with the stumbling blocks in their own lives.
Using an experimental syntax to portray the neurological component of the syndrome, the novel gives the reader a unique view of stuttering from the inside out.
This is an extraordinary book. It’s the inside dope on stuttering. And if one person was born to tell the story, it’s David Sherman. And does he have a story to tell. The plot is consummate, the writing proficient, the pacing skillful, with a clarity of detail that renders it very realistic. After awhile, I found myself caring about all the characters, even (or particularly) the minor ones, oftentimes because they reminded me of myself, and were therefore incredible familiar. It is a reflection of the author’s versatility –as educator, in math and Language Arts, as musician and writer –and diversity –Jewish, New York born and bred, having resided all over the world –that some parts of the writing even speak to the Oriental in me. As each of the characters, stuttering and non-, go about their lives, problem-solving, adapting, you cannot help but see the parables at a universal level. Resonant, poignant, and ultimately elucidatory, this book get an A+ from me. ---- Ling T., Guatemala
In addition to those who struggle with dysfluency and their friends and family, I highly recommend this novel to educators and speech pathologists to ensure their understanding of the multi-faceted impact that this neurological syndrome can have on one’s identity. ---- Shari Mayerson, MS, CCC-SLP
Why is the name so difficult? Perhaps because there is no way to reach into the verbal bag of tricks which every person who stutters carries with him in a desperate attempt to seem normal. Word substitution (the favorite of all stutterers who block more on certain sounds than others) is impossible when the name is fixed and finite. Linking the end of one sound to the start of another to increase fluidity is impossible also, because the name begins with a specific sound, and most stuttering occurs on the initial syllable of a word.
Other book from the author
This bilingual English/Spanish collection contains pieces ranging from flash fiction to folktale. Set in New York, New & Old Mexico, Guatemala, Italy, and the future, eight morsels of Zap Fiction lead off the collection, and five longer stories close it out. The Spanish translations, the product of a team of professionals, are as true to the original English as possible.
About the Author
David Howard Sherman Davis is a writer, musician and international educator who has taught in five countries on four continents. Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised on Long Island, he currently lives by Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. His journalism and fiction have appeared in the United States, Canada, Guatemala, and online.