Check out the Pride Celebration Treasure Hunt!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

The Story of My Life (1903)

by Helen Keller, Candace Ward (Editor)

Other authors: Robert Russell (Introduction), Anne Mansfield Sullivan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,390402,396 (3.94)44

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 44 mentions

English (36)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
This is a composition of Helen Keller's diaries, notes, and observations from her childhood up through her time in college. She talks openly of what it was like to be blind and deaf, to finally learn once a teacher was brought to her that could help her learn to communicate, and how she decided what she was going to study in college. She talks openly about her disability and how hard it was for her to go to college knowing her professors could not communicate well with her and it would be hard for her to access the curriculum.

The story of Helen Keller is near and dear to me. Having a daughter who is legally blind, Helen Keller is an inspiration. I see what she was able to accomplish at the turn of the century, and how far accessibility has come for the blind. Helen was reliant on her teacher so much more than students today are. Technology for the blind plus the development of cochlear implants for the deaf has changed the world for these two classes of disabilities.

As for the book, well.....it was fine. IT was a little boring - as I am sure more people would find reading anyone's diary a bit boring. I wanted to hear more about her story and and her struggle, but what it mostly was - was her mundane day to day activities. Almost to a fault she would explain visits from people in great detail. It was constant positive spin from Helen's point of view. She seemed to live an extremely normal life according to her account. What was revealing was actually notes at the end that spoke more of the truth about Helen and her daily life. (as in - she still had a very difficult getting around even her most familiar environments). I would rather it has been more truthful than all rainbows and sunshine.

( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
I wish I had read this sooner. What I remember of what I was taught about Keller was never from her perspective. It was how she was so difficult and generally lived a secluded life. But when she tells her own story, it is with such persistent and unapologetic optimism.

I found her struggle with knowing what ideas were her own fascinating. If all you have is the description provided from others, it must be profoundly challenging to form original thoughts in certain areas. That resonated with me and struck me.

Not only is Keller an example of a person with disabilities defying stereotypes, but she even has the nerve to do so with joy! *jawdrop* Keller found such pure beauty and eloquently expressed her appreciation for what she was grateful for. She is a person I know I admire, and I would put this short read on a required reading list for sure! ( )
  lbeller | Jan 9, 2019 |
This short book is a glowing testament to the will and determination of human spirit, and to the enjoyment of life even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Helen Keller, blind and deaf due to an early childhood illness, lives in painful emotional isolation until the arrival of her beloved teacher, Miss Sulivan. She teaches Helen language by spelling words into her hand. Soon she learns to read, write, and eventually, she is determined to learn speech and lipreading via touching. She enrolls in college, writes with a Braille typewriter, and with her teacher’s assistance, enjoys a variety of activities that would have been unattainable before for a blind and deaf person - such as swimming, bicycling and theater. She particularly enjoys reading, experiencing stories and sensations otherwise unattainable to her. She learns Greek and German, meets and converses with wide array of interesting and famous people, and keeps a large correspondence.

I was particularly struck by her great enjoyment of life and the richness of her descriptions of her experiences and sensations. We assume that seeing and hearing are just about all of our experience - Helen proves otherwise. Another surprise is the eloquence, the richness of language. For someone unable to hear sounds and see letters, to attain such a high degree of literacy, it makes one think that anything is possible.

The reason I deducted a star was because she wrote this at 22, so it mainly deals with her education, and it gets a bit repetitive towards the end. Overall, a book that everyone should read. So inspiring. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
This was incredibly disappointing...more like a text book than a memoir. ( )
  SadieBabie | Jun 23, 2018 |
I remember reading this 10 years ago, such is the lasting impression of this feisty girl and dedicated teacher. The book was not easy to get into but the outcome is nothing short of a miracle. ( )
  paperdust | Jan 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Helen Kellerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ward, CandaceEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sullivan, Anne Mansfieldsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Epstein, JosephContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roosevelt, EleanorForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors

Who has taught the deaf to speak
and enabled the listening ear to
hear speech from the Atlantic to the Rockies,

This Story of My Life.
First words
It is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history of my life.
The thought that my dear Heavenly Father is always near, giving me abundantly of all those things, which truly enrich life and make it sweet and beautiful, makes every deprivation seem of little moment compared with the countless blessings I enjoy.
Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten - a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
ISBN: 0486292495 9780486292496
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
This is Helen Keller's account of her triumph over deafness and blindness.
This story has become a symbol of hope for people all over the world. This book - published when Helen Keller was 22 - portrays the wild child who is locked in the dark and silent prison of her own body. 

With an extraordinary sense of immediacy, Keller reveals her frustrations and rage, and takes the reader on the unforgettable journey of her education and breakthroughs into the world of communication. We see Keller as she finally realizes that her teacher's finger-spelled letters mean "water."  Suddenly, "that living word awakened my soul. gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!"
An unparalleled chronicle of courage, The Story of My Life
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553213873, Mass Market Paperback)

Helen 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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:58 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

An autobiography of Helen Keller, written while she was a young woman, in which she tells of her early life, her relationship with her teacher Anne Sullivan, and her struggles to triumph over blindness and deafness.

» see all 30 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.94)
1 4
2 21
2.5 5
3 85
3.5 21
4 158
4.5 7
5 127

W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393057445, 0393325687

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400101298, 1400108934

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,478,686 books! | Top bar: Always visible