The Undefeated

The Undefeated is a coming-of-age story of two young men set in northeastern Pennsylvania during the turbulent times of the civil rights movement. The book focuses on friendship and loyalty as each young man finds himself faced with adversity. Erich Loessing, the only child of a single mother, must confront his future and try to fit the pieces back together when he discovers that his whole life has been a lie. His friend Danny Dawson, who is deaf, must tackle a broader challenge. Borrowing the words of Charles Dickens, Danny describes the Lackawanna Oral School as, “the best of times, the worst of times.” Although the school is the bastion of Deaf culture, Danny can no longer tolerate the denial of his right to openly use his own language, American Sign Language. The relationship between Erich and Danny sets the framework for a friendship that spans two decades, two cultures and bridges the gap in a world that alienates those who are different.