New York Times Bestselling Author Connie Briscoe Has Hearing Restored with Cochlear Implant

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Bestselling fiction author Connie Briscoe became profoundly deaf at age 30. Two years ago, she had cochlear implant surgery and most of her hearing was restored. This spring and summer she travels across the country for the first time without an interpreter as she promotes her fifth novel, "Can't Get Enough."

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Bestselling fiction author Connie Briscoe was born with a mild hearing loss inherited from her father's side of the family. But at about age 30 her hearing suddenly began dropping rapidly and within months she was profoundly deaf. Two summers ago, she had cochlear implant surgery at The Listening Center at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center and most of her hearing has been restored. Briscoe says that for the first time in more than 20 years, she is able to use the telephone again, go to the movie theater and enjoy music.

"The last movie I remember seeing in the theater before losing my hearing was The Color Purple. But I missed hearing most of it and I knew while watching it that this would probably be my last visit to a movie theater. In some ways it feels like I've been sleeping for the past 20 years and suddenly woke up, especially with all the new technology in telephones and all the gadgets for listening to music. It's an exciting time for me."

A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that restores hearing to people who have severe to profound hearing loss. The device is surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear, and it bypasses damaged hair cells in the inner ear, or cochlear, to stimulate the hearing nerve directly.

This spring and summer Briscoe will tour around the country for the first time without a sign language interpreter to promote her fifth novel, "Can't Get Enough," which was released earlier this month.

"It's wonderful being able to talk directly to media people when they interview me about the novel and directly to my fans instead of through an interpreter. Although I really needed an interpreter when I lost my hearing, I always felt that something was missing when I was unable to speak directly to people. Now I have that back and it feels great."

Connie Briscoe is the author of five novels including "Sisters and Lovers," "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "PG County." Her work has hit the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today Weekend, Washington Post, Essence magazine and many others. More information about her latest novel, "Can't Get Enough," which the Boston Globe deemed "a black Desperate Housewives," can be found at her website http://www.conniebriscoe.com.

ISBN 0-385-50162-5

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