A review of Roz Rozen’s “Little Red Riding Hood” in Deaf Culture Fairy Tales (Savory Words, 2017)
By Derek Newman-Stille
In ”Little Red Riding Hood”, Deaf storyteller Roz Rosen recasts Red Riding Hood as CODA (Child of Deaf Adult), and as a “GODA” (Grandchild of Deaf Adult). Rosen envisions her as someone who has grown up bilingual, speaking English and Sign Language, and someone who takes pride in her bilingual status and ability to communicate in two different modalities.
When this Little Red Riding Hood encounters the Big Bad Wolf, she recognizes him as part of Deaf culture, an individual who has more in common with the Deaf community than he does with hearing wolves. This is a huge discovery for the Wolf himself, who hasn’t encountered Deaf culture or a Deaf community before. But, just as he is communicating with Little Red and her Grandmother, the hearing Woodsman appears and tries to assert his authority over the situation.
Rosen’s tale is one about Deaf community and a resistance to the attempts by hearing people to impose their ideas over that community. This is a tale of “Nothing About Us Without Us” and a reminder of the history of hearing people trying to impose their ideas and perceptions of situations onto Deaf people.
Rosen’s “Little Red Riding Hood” invites a happily ever after of Deaf people making decisions for their own community. It is a tale of communication and the power of communication to forge communities.
To discover more about Deaf Culture Fairy Tales, visit Savory Words’ website at http://www.savorywords.com/dcft-by-roz-rosen-2/