Helen Keller: A Life

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University of Chicago Press, Dec 15, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 394 pages
54 Reviews
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: Helen Keller: A Life

User Review  - Goodreads

Very interesting life, somewhat interesting book. Read full review

Review: Helen Keller: A Life

User Review  - Caroline - Goodreads

Good book, I wish I had kept it. Read full review

Contents

Helen
3
Laura
14
Annie
27
Helen and Annie
52
The Eighth Wonder of the World
63
Angel Child
86
It Took the Pair of You
99
A Born Schemer
114
The Dreadful Drama Is Finished
231
Helen Without Annie
258
Polly and Nella
266
A Source of Embarrassment
281
In a Black Silent Hole
293
A Witness of God
303
I Am in Agony
313
The End of a Friendship
320

HalfRome
124
John
140
The World I Live In
156
A Fiery Radical
171
More of an Institution Than a Woman
180
A Little Island of Joy
194
Separation
200
Hollywood
211
The Star of Happiness
221
A Fragile Porcelain Lady
332
Helens Legacy
337
Works by Helen Keller
347
Notes
349
Selected Bibliography
375
Acknowledgments
379
Index
383
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Dorothy Hermann is the author of "Helen Keller: A Life". She lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and New York City.

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