Third Ear. Reflections on the Art and Science of Listening

Publication Date:

September 2024



Original language and publisher

English | Counterpoint Press

Territories Handled

World excl. English North America


Memoir, Science

Third Ear. Reflections on the Art and Science of Listening


This illuminating book weaves personal stories of a multilingual upbringing with the latest scientific breakthroughs in interspecies communication to show how the skill of deep listening enhances our curiosity and empathy toward the world around us.

Third Ear braids together personal narrative with scholarly inquiry to examine the power of listening to build interpersonal empathy and social transformation. A daughter of Holocaust survivors, Rosner shares stories from growing up in a home where six languages were spoken to interrogate how psychotherapy, neurolinguistics, and creativity can illuminate the complex ways we are impacted by the sounds and silences of others.

Drawing on expertise from journalists, podcasters, performers, translators, acoustic biologists, spiritual leaders, composers, and educators, this hybrid text moves fluidly along a spectrum from molecular to global to reveal how third-ear listening can be a collective means for increased understanding and connection to the natural world.

Praise for this book: 

“[A] lyrical blend of memoir and science . . . This soothes the soul.” —Publishers Weekly

“Deep listening found here. Connecting our collective soundscape with her own, Rosner reveals a spirit and depth of insight few have shown in this realm. Listen to just one of her paragraphs and your future footfalls will never sound the same.” —Edie Meidav, author of Another Love Discourse and Lola, California

“There is a world of knowledge of listening floating around us, in sound and on the page. No one has connected these stories to their own life and memories better than Elizabeth Rosner. I thought I knew this material after years of swimming in it, but she has revealed depths of sonic purpose through the unique connections she draws. This is a rare and profound book.” —David Rothenberg, author of Whale Music and Secret Sounds of Ponds

“Elizabeth Rosner asks us to consider how listening can profoundly shape who we are, long before we really understand what it is we’ve heard.” —Bonnie Tsui, bestselling author of Why We Swim and American Chinatown

“Elizabeth Rosner’s Third Ear should be required for the entire human race. Rosner is one of the greatest writers and thinkers of our time—with insight into this century’s difficult socio-political and ethical questions. With clarity and intimacy, Rosner renders a sonic universe in which reciprocity connects all of life through deep listening. We are one small part of a large, delicate ecosystem—from the soil bioacoustics to the toxic pesticides we use, from the extinction of different species to the threat of our own. Third Ear gives us a second chance to look inside ourselves and find something human in us.” —E. J. Koh, author of The Liberators and The Magical Language of Others

Third Ear: Reflections on the Art and Science of Listening is a marvel—a beautifully-written, meticulously researched, and fascinating exploration of the transformative power of listening. If you’re anything like me, your copy will be dog-eared and underlined, like all of your favorite books.” —Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game