Book Review: "Deaf Utopia" By Nyle DiMarco

It is light aqua blue background with white lettering. On the front, Nyle DiMarco stands in a colorful striped shirt, smiling, on the front cover of his book "Deaf Utopia"

So, what do you think would be the odds of having twins? They're not terribly uncommon. What if you are deaf and your twins are born deaf? That's less common. What if your family has been deaf for generations, you have a son who is a twin, who is deaf, who would go on to win both America's Next Top Model and Dancing With the Stars, and be a member of the LGBTQ+ community?

If you haven't heard of him already, that person is Nyle DiMarco, and he details the story of his life in his memoir, Deaf Utopia.

Deaf Utopia: A Memoir—And a Love Letter to a Way of Life is Nyle's story up through 2022. But as the title suggests, this isn't your run of the mill biography.

It's as much about the deaf experience in America as it is about Nyle himself. It's a love letter to American Sign Language, Nyle's native language. It's a love letter to his close-knit Italian American family from Queens, who are all themselves deaf. It's a love letter to the culture that deaf people have formed separate from the hearing—a culture that crosses race, gender, and sexual orientation boundaries. 

You also get all the info you ever wanted from your favorite reality star. From Nyle's childhood in Queens to his coming out publicly and everything in between, it's all in there.

What does Nyle have to say about Tyra Banks? She's a doll, for sure!

What's it like navigating relationships when you are both gay and deaf in Washington, D.C.? Turns out it's pretty rough. 

What was it like on Dancing With the Stars? Not just another signature on Nyle's dance card.

Plus, his wonderful relationship with his family is a heartwarming read. 

Even if you haven't watched his T.V. appearances, just as a peek into deaf culture and how enriching it is outside of the world of the hearing, this a good read that deserves your time. Deaf Utopia is available at several Birmingham Public Library locations and elsewhere in the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. It is also available as an e-book and audiobook on Libby.

By J. Michael Coe | Library Assistant Ⅲ, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library/ Inglenook Branch Library