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The Voice Gallery

Travels with a Glass Throat

by Keath Fraser

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list price: $34.95
published: 2002
publisher: Dundurn

Years after a rare vocal disorder caused Keath Fraser to nearly lose his voice, another tragedy irrevocably altered the award-winning novelist and short story writer's life. As his wife lay unconscious beside him, he was unable to call for help.

These events set him on a global quest in search of others whose lives, like his, had undergone a similar and mysterious collapse of voice. For twenty years, Fraser was told by the medical establishment that his voice difficulties were psychological; that was until he discovered relief in botulinum toxin, the drug favoured by Hollywood plastic surgeons in obliterating wrinkles, which miraculously - albeit temporary - smoothed out his choppy, strangulated speech.

He finally had a diagnosis: Spasmodic Dysphonia, a misfiring of the vocal chords caused by faulty transmitters in the brain. Beginning on Canada's West Coast, the author then travels to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Great Britain, Ireland, the US, India, and Sri Lanka.

The Voice Gallery is an account of Fraser's international journey through a diaspora of lost voices; a record of his trysts with fellow travellers, including some of the world's most astute voice teachers and specialists. It is a memoir about the wonders and frailties of the human voice.

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