Amos Lassen, a freelance book reviewer specializing in LGBT and Jewish-themed books–wrote a great review of Echoes of Jerry, excerpted below…see the full review at reviewsbyamoslassen.com
I met Judah Leblang through his writing some 12 years ago and I was very impressed. When he told me a couple of weeks ago that he had a new book out and asked me to review it, I jumped at the chance. He did not disappoint. I remembered thinking that reading his words was like talking to an old friend and even though years have passed, I got the same feeling with “Echoes of Jerry”…Leblang shares his growing up feeling isolated in Cleveland of the 1970s. What is fascinating here is that he finds parallels with his Uncle Jerry’s experiences of growing up deaf twenty years earlier. He brings his and Jerry’s life stories together as both men search for ways to belong. There were moments when my eyes filled with tears when I read about the strength of family and Jerry’s death…Leblang beautifully uses his own life and his uncle’s as jumping off points to ask universal questions about how one deals with the desire to belong to a community. This is a quick read that has a lot to say.
Echoes of Jerry was recently reviewed in the Midwest Book Review, January 2020:
Synopsis: Growing up in suburban Cleveland, Judah Leblang felt a deep connection with his Uncle Jerry, an orally-educated deaf man who lived an isolated life between the deaf and hearing worlds. Like Jerry, his nephew Judah felt different too, struggling with his sexuality and trying to find his place in society, finally coming out in the mid-1980s.
Many years later, after working in the Deaf Community and later, losing much of his own hearing, Judah goes on a quest to understand his late uncle and to give him a voice — this man who died of a heart attack at 44, and who remained a mystery to those around him, encased in his silent world.
Critique: A deftly written, inherently interesting, deeply personal memoir, “Echoes of Jerry: One Man’s Search For His Deaf Uncle And His Own Voice” is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections.
Echoes of Jerry was also featured in the Cleveland Jewish News, January 2020: www.clevelandjewishnews
My show and storytelling have been featured recently in Boston’s Jewish Advocate (January 2018), in Minneapolis with a review in Lavender, the Twin Cities gay newspaper (August 2016), and at the Elgin Fringe Festival (September 2017) courtesy of the Elgin Review
Medford Transcript/Wicked Local Medford, October 2013
The Cleveland Plain Dealer featured my August 2010 reading as one of the “Pop 10 Things to Do in Cleveland, along with YoYo Ma and several others:
Boston Globe: Arts and Entertainment, October 2010:
A funny time of life
Three men facing middle age and its discontents with a sense of humor are joining forces for “The Roving Raconteurs,” an evening of storytelling. Local writers Dan Gewertz, Judah Leblang, and Randy Ross will take to the stage at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education at 7 p.m. on Friday. Gewertz’s work-in-progress is “A Virgin at Woodstock” and Ross’s is “The Loneliest Planet: A Handbook for the Chronically Single.” Leblang has published a collection of essays, “Finding My Place: One Man’s Journey from Cleveland to Boston and Beyond.” Tickets are $10. Details at www.ccae.org (click on new courses).