Age 69, born in Scunthorpe in 1944, Joyce’s father was a steel worker and her mother made fishing nets.
Told after university that she was “too deaf to teach the deaf”, for 20 years she taught literature to the hearing instead.
Joyce is well known as a children’s author. She has taught art, drama and has been a writer in residence at the UEA and for the Millennium Project. She is proud resident of Norwich.
Of the experience of taking part in this project she said, “If you make me look sad and melancholy that’s fine but that’s my ‘resting’ face, like the Queen’s, a bit grim. But I’m happy underneath – honest! I like people, and I love where I live.”
Joyce is aware that deafness makes demands on other people, not all of whom can respond, but she also sees it as strengthening, forcing her to develop inner resources – good for a writer. She has peace and quiet at the flick of a switch.
“I’m content with my life. I have achieved more than I ever thought possible for a scruffy kid with a ‘handicap’ that put her in the bottom class in primary school.
“I was lucky to be born at a time when children like me were given chances. It’s much harder now.”