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The Story of My Life (1903)

de Helen Keller

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5,199582,080 (3.89)64
Biography & Autobiography. Nonfiction. HTML:

Helen Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life, tells of her early life and of her experiences with Annie Sullivan, her teacher and companion. It was first published in 1903. Keller was the first deaf-blind person to attain a Bachelor of Arts degree, became well traveled and a prolific author, and was outspoken in her campaigning against war and for many other progressive causes. This story shows how Annie Sullivan helped Keller break through her isolation and absence of language to blossom and learn to live in the world of people.

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This goes straight to the Should be Read in Schools shelf, for so many reasons.
First, Helen Keller has always been one of my favourite people. A deaf-blind person becoming the first to earn a degree, and a woman, on top of that. Wow. Becoming a committed activist and intellectual. Double wow. Becoming a socialist activist. Triple wow. In the USA. WOW elevated to the fourth potency of wow.
Second, when I was a child I fell in love with the movie, starring Ann Bancroft.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Miracle_Worker_(1962_film)

The teacher who helped Helen overcome her physical limitations and blossom to the outside world was a great personality on her own.
Third, one of the many qualities of Helen Keller was her natural communicative gift. Not something a deaf-blind person manages to see acknowledged easily, yet she did manage. After having read this autobiography, it is easy to understand why: a deeply personal narrative and, at the same time, a broader testimony in the name of the voiceless, vibrant with the urgency of a fight for the rights of people who are not always in the best position to fight for themselves. I often reflected that this must have been the factor that pushed Helen Keller towards socialism.
Yes, I would have it taught in school (if I didn't think that pretty much any school system would manage to make even Terry Pratchett unpalatable). ( )
  Elanna76 | May 2, 2024 |
When a toddler, Helen Keller was stricken with a devastating illness which left her both deaf and blind. With no means of communicating her desires, needs or emotions with her family members, her next few years were tumultuous for all. Anne Sullivan, a teacher, arrived at their home when Keller was six years old and was successful over time in breaking through Keller's veil of darkness and silence, beginning by teaching her the names of objects in her environment by spelling words into her hand. Keller ultimately learned to read braille, to write and type using a braille typewriter, and even to speak aloud with intensive coaching. She also became a student of history, mathematics, and multiple languages, and graduated from college. This is the first of her autobiographies, written at age twenty.

In my youth I had read an abridged-for-children version of this autobiography, and that, combined with cultural knowledge absorbed, made her story already feel pretty familiar. As the book is overall relatively brief, the addition of correspondence was interesting, particularly Keller's earliest efforts, but I grew somewhat bored with her letters after a while. When I try to imagine how one could successfully learn abstract concepts without the benefit of sight or hearing it kind of blows my mind. Keller was clearly possessed of great intelligence and a brain starved for learning during her years of darkness. As someone with full use of all my senses I have difficulty imagining the rigor of her studies, not to mention the selfless dedication of Sullivan whose constant presence, and who had to spell every single word of every conversation and in every textbook out for Keller using the hand alphabet, made Keller's achievements possible. I find it impossible that Sullivan didn't experience burnout, but her own feelings about her 50-year commitment are rarely spoken of. ( )
  ryner | Apr 24, 2024 |
This is Helen Keller’s autobiography (for about the first half). Then, it includes some of the letters Helen wrote to various people. Helen, of course, was both blind and deaf in the late 19th century as a child when she and a teacher had a breakthrough as her teacher, Annie Sullivan, was trying to teach her to communicate. Helen grew up to become very educated and published more than one book.

I listened to the audio, and it was ok, but I did lose focus more than I would have liked. It turns out Helen loved books and reading, which was interesting. It was kind of repetitive between the biography portion, then much of what was in the letters had already also been mentioned in the autobiography. Helen Keller was a pretty impressive woman. ( )
  LibraryCin | Apr 14, 2024 |
A fabulous and candid story of Helen Keller’s education. There are times I forgot her disabilities. Such wonderful insight to an amazing woman. ( )
  caseybp | Dec 18, 2023 |
I can see how it would make a good young adult biography. ( )
  emmby | Oct 4, 2023 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (57 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Keller, Helenautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Barton Perry, RalphIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Berger, JamesEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Epstein, JosephContribuinteautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gibson, FloNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Herrmann, DorothyContribuinteautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Macy, JohnEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Macy, John AlbertEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Perry, Ralph BartonIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pollak-Ottendorff, EleonoreContribuinteautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Roosevelt, EleanorPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Russell, RobertIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Shattuck, RogerContribuinteautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sullivan, Anne Mansfieldautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ward, CandaceEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Woods, MaryNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL

Who has taught the deaf to speak
and enabled the listening ear to
hear speech from the Atlantic to the Rockies,

I DEDICATE
This Story of My Life.
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It is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history of my life.
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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.
Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten - a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!
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ISBN: 0486292495 9780486292496
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Biography & Autobiography. Nonfiction. HTML:

Helen Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life, tells of her early life and of her experiences with Annie Sullivan, her teacher and companion. It was first published in 1903. Keller was the first deaf-blind person to attain a Bachelor of Arts degree, became well traveled and a prolific author, and was outspoken in her campaigning against war and for many other progressive causes. This story shows how Annie Sullivan helped Keller break through her isolation and absence of language to blossom and learn to live in the world of people.

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