Read My Story by Helen Keller Free Online
Book Title: My Story|
The author of the book: Helen Keller
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Loaded: 1670 times
Reader ratings: 6.4
Edition: A. J. Cornell Publications
Date of issue: September 30th 2011
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 613 KB
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Helen Keller’s well-known autobiography, “The Story of My Life,” was written while she was in college and published in 1903. Much less known is her shorter autobiography, “My Story,” which she wrote at age 12 especially for a magazine called “Youth’s Companion.” As Helen Keller explained in her 1903 autobiography: “[Miss Sullivan] persuaded me to write for the ‘Youth’s Companion’ a brief account of my life. I was then twelve years old. As I look back on my struggle to write that little story, it seems to me that I must have had a prophetic vision of the good that would come of the undertaking, or I should surely have failed. I wrote timidly, fearfully, but resolutely, urged on by my teacher.” When “Youth’s Companion” published the four-part account, Helen Keller was not yet well known, and her story was prefaced by the explanatory remark: “Written wholly without help of any sort by Helen Keller, a deaf and blind girl, twelve years old, and printed without change.”
This Kindle edition, equivalent in length to a physical book of approximately 16 pages, includes the complete text of the very rare autobiography of 12-year-old Helen Keller, “My Story.”
I was born twelve years ago, one bright June morning, in Tuscumbia, a pleasant little town in the northern part of Alabama. The beginning of my life was very simple, and very much like the beginning of every other little life; for I could see and hear when I first came to live in this beautiful world. But I did not notice anything in my new home for several days. Content in my mother’s tender arms I lay, and smiled as if my little heart were filled with sweetest memories of the world I just had left.
I like to think I lived with God in the beautiful Somewhere before I came here, and that is why I always knew God loved me, even when I had forgotten his name.
But when I did begin to notice things, my blue eyes were filled with wondering joy. I gazed long at the lovely, deep-blue sky, and stretched out my tiny hands for the golden sunbeams that came to play hide-and-seek with me. So my happy baby hours went. I grew and cried and laughed, as all infants do.
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Read information about the authorHelen Keller would not be bound by conditions. Rendered deaf and blind at 19 months by scarlet fever, she learned to read (in several languages) and even speak, eventually graduating with honors from Radcliffe College in 1904, where as a student she wrote The Story of My Life. That she accomplished all of this in an age when few women attended college and the disabled were often relegated to the background, spoken of only in hushed tones, is remarkable. But Keller's many other achievements are impressive by any standard: she authored 13 books, wrote countless articles, and devoted her life to social reform. An active and effective suffragist, pacifist, and socialist (the latter association earned her an FBI file), she lectured on behalf of disabled people everywhere. She also helped start several foundations that continue to improve the lives of the deaf and blind around the world.
As a young girl Keller was obstinate, prone to fits of violence, and seething with rage at her inability to express herself. But at the age of 7 this wild child was transformed when, at the urging of Alexander Graham Bell, Anne Sullivan became her teacher, an event she declares "the most important day I remember in all my life." (Sullivan herself had once been blind, but partially recovered her sight after a series of operations.) In a memorable passage, Keller writes of the day "Teacher" led her to a stream and repeatedly spelled out the letters w-a-t-e-r on one of her hands while pouring water over the other. This method proved a revelation: "That living world awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away." And, indeed, most of them were.
In her lovingly crafted and deeply perceptive autobiography, Keller's joyous spirit is most vividly expressed in her connection to nature:
Indeed, everything that could hum, or buzz, or sing, or bloom, had a part in my education.... Few know what joy it is to feel the roses pressing softly into the hand, or the beautiful motion of the lilies as they sway in the morning breeze. Sometimes I caught an insect in the flower I was plucking, and I felt the faint noise of a pair of wings rubbed together in a sudden terror....
The idea of feeling rather than hearing a sound, or of admiring a flower's motion rather than its color, evokes a strong visceral sensation in the reader, giving The Story of My Life a subtle power and beauty. Keller's celebration of discovery becomes our own. In the end, this blind and deaf woman succeeds in sharpening our eyes and ears to the beauty of the world. --Shawn Carkonen
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