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An American classic rediscovered by each generation, The Story of My Life is Helen Keller’s account of her triumph over deafness and blindness. Popularized by the stage play and movie The Miracle Worker, Keller’s story has become a symbol of hope for people all over the world.

This book–published when Keller was only twenty-two–portrays the wild child who is locked in the dark and silent prison of her own body. With an extraordinary immediacy, Keller reveals her frustrations and rage, and takes the reader on the unforgettable journey of her education and breakthroughs into the world of communication. From the moment Keller recognizes the word “water” when her teacher finger-spells the letters, we share her triumph as “that living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!” An unparalleled chronicle of courage, The Story of My Life remains startlingly fresh and vital more than a century after its first publication, a timeless testament to an indomitable will.


From the Paperback edition.
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Oct 25, 2005
ISBN: 9780553902051
List price: $3.99
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I became interested in reading Helen Keller's autobiography after seeing the original movie "The Miracle Worker", now one of my favourites. I was a bit sorry when all of that was dispensed with in the first four chapters, and discovered that Miss Keller's account hardly matches the movie version. I chalked up the difference to Hollywood invention - a bit disappointing. Helen relates her story up to her college years and is fairly lacklustre as far as biographies go. Mostly it's devoted to discoveries about the things she most grew to love. Highlights include famous people she met (Mark Twain being my favourite), and her surprising daring at trying things I wouldn't have expected - riding a bicycle and rowing a boat alone, for example.She was very descriptive throughout, almost poetic, which greatly impressed me. Then in Chapter Fourteen comes the poem she wrote and was accused of plagiarizing. She gives a convincing account of how this must have occurred subconsciously, and what a setback it was to suspect every thought she had as not being her own. It also cast my reading in a different light: how much of the descriptive detail I'd been admiring had she simply echoed? It earned my sympathy to read about this circumstance in which she could no longer trust her own imagination. Fortunately she found the confidence to pursue her dream of a college education, which is where her biography (written in her early twenties) draws to a close. While I admired her bravery, it wasn't a standout biography for me. Before I set it aside, I saw there were substantial appendices so I gave those a peek. The first was a collection of letters. While the content was fairly dull, it was remarkable how quickly she progressed in vocabulary and grammar. In the space of two years she went from discovering words to writing age-appropriate letters to her friends and family. After those, I discovered the real treasure: a retelling of her biography from the perspective of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Its preface explains that Helen Keller had little memory of her life prior to being educated, nor could she convey an outside perspective of what her education had entailed. Miss Sullivan's account is an almost scene-for-scene description of what occurs in the movie - surprise! Then it goes well beyond that, relating Miss Keller's remarkable development from her teacher's viewpoint. This was the biography I'd imagined reading in the first place. I was hooked.I'm tempted to recommend others go straight to Anne Sullivan's account. But in hindsight I can say it's worth your time to read both sides (internal and external) for the full picture of this remarkable woman's experience in being awakened to the wonders of life and language.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A wonderful book about a brilliant, loving young woman who just happened to be blind and deaf. When Helen was 19, she penned the following words in a letter: "The thought that my dear Heavenly Father is always near, giving me abundantly of all those things, which truly enrich life and make it sweet and beautiful, makes every deprivation seem of little moment compared with the countless blessings I enjoy."Anne Sullivan, her famous tutor, taught Helen at age 11 that "the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart."read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is about the life of Helen Keller. The book starts when Helen is a child. Helen describes herself as stubborn and angry. She lived in a world of dark for a few years of her life. Helen talks about the years before and after Annie Sullivan, her teacher arrive. The story continues to show how Helen and Annie worked together to accomplish the many learning skills that Helen learned. This book is inspirational and a great book to show to children that may or may not have disabilities.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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I became interested in reading Helen Keller's autobiography after seeing the original movie "The Miracle Worker", now one of my favourites. I was a bit sorry when all of that was dispensed with in the first four chapters, and discovered that Miss Keller's account hardly matches the movie version. I chalked up the difference to Hollywood invention - a bit disappointing. Helen relates her story up to her college years and is fairly lacklustre as far as biographies go. Mostly it's devoted to discoveries about the things she most grew to love. Highlights include famous people she met (Mark Twain being my favourite), and her surprising daring at trying things I wouldn't have expected - riding a bicycle and rowing a boat alone, for example.She was very descriptive throughout, almost poetic, which greatly impressed me. Then in Chapter Fourteen comes the poem she wrote and was accused of plagiarizing. She gives a convincing account of how this must have occurred subconsciously, and what a setback it was to suspect every thought she had as not being her own. It also cast my reading in a different light: how much of the descriptive detail I'd been admiring had she simply echoed? It earned my sympathy to read about this circumstance in which she could no longer trust her own imagination. Fortunately she found the confidence to pursue her dream of a college education, which is where her biography (written in her early twenties) draws to a close. While I admired her bravery, it wasn't a standout biography for me. Before I set it aside, I saw there were substantial appendices so I gave those a peek. The first was a collection of letters. While the content was fairly dull, it was remarkable how quickly she progressed in vocabulary and grammar. In the space of two years she went from discovering words to writing age-appropriate letters to her friends and family. After those, I discovered the real treasure: a retelling of her biography from the perspective of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Its preface explains that Helen Keller had little memory of her life prior to being educated, nor could she convey an outside perspective of what her education had entailed. Miss Sullivan's account is an almost scene-for-scene description of what occurs in the movie - surprise! Then it goes well beyond that, relating Miss Keller's remarkable development from her teacher's viewpoint. This was the biography I'd imagined reading in the first place. I was hooked.I'm tempted to recommend others go straight to Anne Sullivan's account. But in hindsight I can say it's worth your time to read both sides (internal and external) for the full picture of this remarkable woman's experience in being awakened to the wonders of life and language.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A wonderful book about a brilliant, loving young woman who just happened to be blind and deaf. When Helen was 19, she penned the following words in a letter: "The thought that my dear Heavenly Father is always near, giving me abundantly of all those things, which truly enrich life and make it sweet and beautiful, makes every deprivation seem of little moment compared with the countless blessings I enjoy."Anne Sullivan, her famous tutor, taught Helen at age 11 that "the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart."
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is about the life of Helen Keller. The book starts when Helen is a child. Helen describes herself as stubborn and angry. She lived in a world of dark for a few years of her life. Helen talks about the years before and after Annie Sullivan, her teacher arrive. The story continues to show how Helen and Annie worked together to accomplish the many learning skills that Helen learned. This book is inspirational and a great book to show to children that may or may not have disabilities.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I found Anne Sullivan's letters and notes more interesting than Helen Keller's--I think Helen wanted to show how normal she was; I was more interested in how she learned.
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She was rather eloquent for someone who couldn't speak and she had a fascinating life.
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This "restored" edition has been reedited by Roger Shattuck to reflect more accurately its original compostiion, presenting Helen Keller's story in three successive accounts: Helen's own version; the letters of "teacher" Anne s"ullivan, shubmerged in the original; and thevaluable documentation frunished by their young assistant, John Marcy.Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, in 1880. Before her second birhtday, a mysterious illness left her deaf and blind. She graduated with honors from Radcliffe College in 1904, on year fafter the initial publication of The Story Of My Life, and wa the author of thriteen books. She died in 1968. Roger Shattuck, author of Forbidden Knowledge and The Banquet Years, won the National Book Award for a work abot Marcel Proust. University Professor Emeritus at Boston University, Shattuck lives in Vermont. Dorothy Herrmann is the author of Helen Keller: A Life and of three other biographies. She lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and New York City.Jacket Design by Eleen Cheung Jacket Photograph by Library of Congress Printed in USA
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