Helen Keller: a life

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
A. Knopf,
Pub. Date:
1998.
Edition:
1st ed.
Language:
English
Description
Helen Keller couldn't hear, couldn't see, and, at first, couldn't speak. Three decades after her death in 1968, she has become a symbol of the indomitable human spirit, and she remains a legendary figure. With her zest for life and learning--and her strength and courage--she was able to transcend her severe disabilities. In a society fearful of limitation and mortality, she is an enduring icon, a woman who, by her inspiring example, made disability seem less horrifying. William Gibson's play The Miracle Worker, which portrayed Helen Keller's childhood relationship with her teacher Annie Sullivan, was so compelling that most people are only familiar with this early part of Helen's life. But the real Helen Keller did grow up, and her adult life was more problematic than her inspiring childhood. The existence she shared with the complicated, half-blind Annie Sullivan was turbulent--with its intrigues, doomed marriages and love affairs, and battles against physical and mental infirmity, as well as the constant struggles to earn a living. Dorothy Herrmann's biography of Helen Keller takes us through Helen's long, eventful life, a life that would have crushed a woman less stoic and adaptable--and less protected. She was either venerated as a saint or damned as a fraud. And one of the most persistent controversies surrounding her had to do with her relationship to the fiercely devoted Annie, through whom she largely expressed herself. Dorothy Herrmann explores these questions: Was Annie Sullivan a "miracle worker" or a domineering, emotionally troubled woman who shrewdly realized that making a deaf-blind girl of average intelligence appear extraordinary was her ticket to fame and fortune? Was she merely an instrument through which Helen's "brilliance" could manifest itself? Or was Annie herself the genius, the exceptionally gifted and sensitive one? Herrmann describes the nature of Helen's strange, sensorily deprived world. (Was it a black and silent tomb?) And she shows how Helen was so cheerful about her disabilities, often appearing in public as the soul of radiance and altruism. (Was it Helen's real self that emerged at age seven, when she was transformed by language from a savage, animal-like creature into a human being? Or was it a false persona manufactured by the driven Annie Sullivan?) Dorothy Herrmann tells why, despite her romantic involvements, Helen was never permitted to marry. She shows us the woman who, to communicate with the outside world, relied totally on those who knew the manual finger language. For almost her entire life, these people, some of whom were jealous or dogmatic, were the key to Helen's world. Reading Dorothy Herrmann's engrossing book, we come to know the real Helen Keller, a complex and enigmatic person--beautiful, intelligent, high-strung, and passionate--a woman who might have lived the life of a spoiled, willful, and highly sexed Southern belle had her disabilities not forced her into a radically different existence.
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ISBN:
9780679443544
9780226327631
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 6be0baea-19e5-4cb6-2327-b5f92f00596b
Full title helen keller a life
Author herrmann dorothy
Grouping Category book
Last Update 2018-04-18 04:36:50AM
Last Indexed 2018-05-21 04:40:59AM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Herrmann, Dorothy.
author_display Herrmann, Dorothy
available_at_aacpl Crofton Library, Odenton Library
collection_aacpl ADULT
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id 6be0baea-19e5-4cb6-2327-b5f92f00596b
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item_details ils:a135135|31997014733471|Odenton Library - Nonfiction|921 KELLER|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Nov 29, 2017|WCO||, ils:a135135|31997065728727|Crofton Library - Nonfiction|921 KELLER|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Mar 27, 2018|CRO||
itype_aacpl Adult Nonfiction
last_indexed 2018-05-21T08:40:59.924Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_aacpl 921 KELLER
owning_library_aacpl Anne Arundel County Public Library
owning_location_aacpl Crofton Library, Odenton Library
primary_isbn 9780679443544
publishDate 1998
record_details ils:a135135|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|A. Knopf,|1998.|xvi, 394 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_aacpl ils:a135135|31997014733471|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true||||, ils:a135135|31997065728727|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true||||
subject_facet Deafblind women -- Education -- United States, Deafblind women -- United States -- Biography, Keller, Helen, -- 1880-1968
title_display Helen Keller : a life
title_full Helen Keller : a life / Dorothy Herrmann
title_short Helen Keller :
title_sub a life
topic_facet Deafblind women, Education, Keller, Helen