Jul 10

The Story of My Life: The Restored Edition

Posted by Soliloquy in Adults with disabilities | Hearing Impaired | Vision Impaired


The Story of My Life, a remarkable account of overcoming the debilitating challenges of being both deaf and blind, has become an international classic, making Helen Keller one of the most well-known, inspirational figures in history. Originally published in 1903, Keller’s fascinating memoir narrates the events of her life up to her third year at Radcliffe College.

Helen Keller’s story of struggle and… More >>

The Story of My Life: The Restored Edition

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3 Responses

  • This is a beautiful 100th year anniversary edition of Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life, originally published in 1903. In his introduction, editor James Berger stresses the importance of offering Helen Keller’s text in its original form, but he has greatly enhanced the original story by including additional background information, a section of Keller’s own letters from the age of eight, and finally, commentaries on Keller’s personality, education, speech, and style written by Annie Sullivan and others.

    Although Helen Keller’s story is familiar to all, to read it described in her own words is even more compelling. Using wonderful, descriptive prose, Keller does a masterful job of depicting her transformation into a sentient being after the arrival of her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Of particular note is Keller’s frequent use of sight-oriented language (e.g., “very soon the green, pointed buds showed signs of opening”) despite her disabilities. Although Keller tells of several dark periods in her life–including the “Frost King” incident and her struggles at college–what shines through most clearly is her incredible optimism and unfailingly cheerful disposition.

    As amazing as it is to read Keller’s story in her own words, it is her letters which leave the reader feeling truly astonished. Just three and a half months after Sullivan first arrived to teach Helen, Keller was able to write simple declaratory statements such as “helen write anna george will give helen apple.” The progression of Keller’s language is truly extraordinary; just five months later, she is writing nearly as well as–or perhaps better than–other children her age: “I am glad to write you a letter. Father will send you a picture.” Soon it is nearly impossible to believe that this young woman spent her first eight years without thought or speech. Included within Keller’s letters are some of the replies she received from her many famous friends, such as the poet John Whittier.

    Following Keller’s letters are supplementary accounts from various sources, most notably the letters of Annie Sullivan. My one complaint about the book is that I wish these letters had been printed side-by-side with Keller’s; it would have been truly captivating to read the accounts of pupil and teacher in tandem. Still, Sullivan’s accounts are appealing in their own right, and her life’s dedication to her student was truly remarkable. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to get the clearest, most true account of one of the 20th century’s most fascinating women, Helen Keller.

  • I have thought about getting this book for a long, long time and I am thoroughly enjoying it. The most amazing thing about it is that this little deaf/blind girl not only learned to communitcate but she speaks several different languages! Included are Helen’s actual letters written from the time she was a child. I absolutely recommend this book for all ages!

    The book came within one week of ordering, and looked brand new.

  • My vote of many others who believe Helen Keller was Person of the Century. She was an incredible human being. Personified what should be the “Human Spirit”.

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