Keller: Autobiographies and Other Writings

Kim E. Nielsen, Editor

Library of America

Helen Keller lived from 1880 to 1968, and is justly famous for her achievements in the face of her disabilities. Thanks to her pioneering teacher, Anne Sullivan, Keller broke through the barriers of disaese-inflicted deafness and blindness to become an icon of literature. Her memoirs The Story of My Life and The World I Live In answered many questions about the nature of her interactions with the everyday world, the latter title being praised by philosopher William James for her “genius for psychological insights.” It’s clear that modern attitudes and programs geared towards those with disabilities owe much to Keller and Sullivan.

Both of Keller’s memoirs are included in this volume, which includes a sixteen page portfolio of biographical images and many of the illustrations that featured in the original editions of Keller’s works. Their essential wisdom is as pertinent today as they were written by Keller in a literary career that spanned her whole life. Keller’s interest in and support for others ranged widely over women’s and worker’s rights. Chapters from My Religion detail her Swedenborgian faith. Her commitment to pacifism took her to apartheid-era South Africa and the ruins of Hiroshima.

This edition is edited by Professor Kim E. Nielsen, Disabilities Studies Chair at the University of Toledo and Founding President of the Disabilities History AssociationReaders interested in Keller’s life and works will find it an essential one-stop volume for their bookshelves.