Helen Keller, the little deaf and blind girl was triumphed over adversity to become world famous. Helen was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, to Captain Arthur Henry Keller, a confederate army veteran and a newspaper editor, and Kate Adams Keller. By all accounts, she was a normal child. But at 19 months, Helen suffered an illness – scarlet fever or meningitis that left her deaf and blind. Although Helen learned basic household tasks and could communicate some of her desires through a series of signs, she did not learn language the way other children do. Indeed, her family wondered how a deaf and blind child could be educated. At the age of six, her mother managed to get a teacher, Anne Sullivan, to teach Helen. After studying at the Wright Humason School for the Deaf and the Cambridge School for Young ladies, Helen entered Radcliff College in 1900 and finished her graduation in 1904.
The Story of My Life shows, Helen Keller’s life is neither a miracle nor a joke. It is a tremendous achievement. It is destined to be imprisoned in darkness and isolation for the rest of her life, Helen built upon the brilliant work of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, to become an inter-nationally recognized and respected figure. In 1908 Helen published “The World I Live In”, an account of how she experienced the world through touch, taste and scent. In magazine articles she advocated for increased opportunities for the blind and for improving methods of reducing childhood blindness. In 1909, Helen joined the Socialist Party of Massachusetts and supported many progressive era causes, including birth control, labour unions and the right of women to vote. In 1924, her popularity somewhat recovered, Helen began working as a lecturer fund-raiser for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB).
Helen was devastated when her companion Anne Sullivan died in 1936. After the Second World War she toured more than thirty countries, continuing her advocacy for the blind. In 1955, she published the biography of Anne Sullivan “Teacher”, and in 1957 “The Open door”, a collection of essays. In 1964 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Lyndon Johnson. On 1st June, 1968, she died at her home in Arcane Ridge, Connecticut.
I n the second part of the book, we can read the letters written by Helen to her beloved ones during 1887-1901. It was quite interesting and informative with wonder and curiosity. Through these letters, she opened her mind, saw, felt and touched the worlds of wonders. They are exercises which have trained her to write. The book “Story of My Life” is a story of courage and determination and a work of inspirational literature. It is a very good book for any kinds of libraries.
B. Suredran, Librarian
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Shift II,