Helen Keller: A Life

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9780226327631: Helen Keller: A Life

Dorothy Herrmann's powerful biography of Helen Keller tells the whole story of the controversial and turbulent relationship between Helen and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Herrmann also chronicles Helen's doomed love affair, her struggles to earn a living, her triumphs at Radcliffe College, and her work as an advocate for the disabled. Helen Keller has been venerated as a saint or damned as a fraud, but Herrmann shows her to have been a beautiful, intelligent, high-strung, and passionate woman whose life was transformed not only by her disabilities but also by the remarkable people on whose help and friendship she relied.

"Fascinating. . . . Stripping away decades of well-meaning sentimentality, Herrmann presents a pair of strong-willed women, who struggled to build their own lives while never forgetting their dependence on each other."—Ron Charles, Christian Science Monitor

"We meet an entirely unexpected Helen Keller—a woman with deep if concealed ambivalence toward her self-sacrificing teacher; a political radical; and a woman longing for romantic love and the fulfilled sexual life of a woman."—Joan Mellen, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Herrmann's portrait of Keller is both fully embodied and unflinchingly candid."—Mary Loeffelholz, Boston Sunday Globe

"This well-proportioned biography of the deaf and blind girl who became a great American crusader rescues its subject from the shackles of sainthood without destroying her as an American hero."—Dennis Drabelle, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Herrmann's engrossing biography helps us see beyond the public's fascination with how Keller dealt with her disabilities to discover the woman Keller strived to be."—Nancy Seidman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Perhaps the most intimate biography [of Helen Keller]. [Herrmann] gives her back her sexuality [and] imbues her with a true humanity. . . . Helen Keller: A Life has some of the texture and the dramatic arc of a good novel."—Dinitia Smith, New York Times

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Review:

William Gibson's The Miracle Worker is justly celebrated for its dramatic depiction of the innovative techniques by which Annie Sullivan taught Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind, to communicate with the outside world. Now, Dorothy Herrmann's solid, readable biography of Keller reveals that the 7-year-old, who was liberated from her isolation in 1887, grew up to be a strong-willed, tough-minded, intellectually independent woman--not at all the "plaster saint" her teacher liked to present to the public. Throughout her long life (1880-1968), Keller worked tirelessly to promote the interests of the handicapped, but she was also an avowed socialist who believed that working-class people deserved a larger share of America's wealth and a racial egalitarian whose support of civil rights horrified her genteel Southern family. Veteran biographer Herrmann paints a nuanced portrait of Keller's complex relationship with Sullivan, which included anger and resentment as well as devoted affection, and she vividly depicts the maddening constraints imposed by society's image of Keller as a perfect Victorian maiden, virginal and selfless, when in fact she had an ego and a sex drive no different from those of hearing and sighted people. The book abounds in colorful touches such as Keller's delight in performing on the vaudeville circuit--her admirers were scandalized by this vulgar display to earn money. She adored "the warm tide of human life pulsing round and round me." Candidly acknowledging Keller's frustrations and some of her less-than-sterling qualities, Herrmann gives readers a flesh-and-blood woman whose achievements are all the more remarkable. --Wendy Smith

From the Inside Flap:

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 co

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Descripción Univ of Chicago Pr, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., 1999. Soft Cover. Estado de conservación: New. No Jacket. New condition. 394 pages. (SC5000) Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Nº de ref. de la librería 006663

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Descripción University of Chicago Press 12/15/1999, 1999. Paperback or Softback. Estado de conservación: New. Helen Keller: A Life. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780226327631

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Univ of Chicago. Language: English . Brand New Book. This biography of Helen Keller tells the story of the controversial and turbulent relationship between Helen and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. It chronicles Helens doomed love affair, her struggles to earn a living, her triumphs at Radcliffe College and her work as an advocate for the disabled. Helen Keller has been venerated as a saint or damned as a fraud, this book shows her as a beautiful, intelligent, high-strung and passionate woman whose life was transformed not only by her disabilities but also by the people on whose help and friendship she relied. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780226327631

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Dorothy Herrmann
Editorial: The University of Chicago Press, United States (1999)
ISBN 10: 0226327639 ISBN 13: 9780226327631
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Univ of Chicago. Language: English . Brand New Book. This biography of Helen Keller tells the story of the controversial and turbulent relationship between Helen and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. It chronicles Helens doomed love affair, her struggles to earn a living, her triumphs at Radcliffe College and her work as an advocate for the disabled. Helen Keller has been venerated as a saint or damned as a fraud, this book shows her as a beautiful, intelligent, high-strung and passionate woman whose life was transformed not only by her disabilities but also by the people on whose help and friendship she relied. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780226327631

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