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What is Visible

A Novel

By Kimberly Elkins

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

Bookpage Best Books of 2014

Woman's Day "Most Inspirational Book of 2014"

Women's National Book Association Great Group Reads Pick for 2014

A vividly original literary novel based on the astounding true-life story of Laura Bridgman, the first deaf and blind person who learned language and blazed a trail for Helen Keller.

At age two, Laura Bridgman lost four of her five senses to scarlet fever. At age seven, she was taken to Perkins Institute in Boston to determine if a child so terribly afflicted could be taught. At age twelve, Charles Dickens declared her his prime interest for visiting America. And by age twenty, she was considered the nineteenth century's second most famous woman, having mastered language and charmed the world with her brilliance. Not since The Diving Bell and the Butterfly has a book proven so profoundly moving in illuminating the challenges of living in a completely unique inner world.

With Laura-by turns mischievous, temperamental, and witty-as the book's primary narrator, the fascinating kaleidoscope of characters includes the founder of Perkins Institute, Samuel Gridley Howe, with whom she was in love; his wife, the glamorous Julia Ward Howe, a renowned writer, abolitionist, and suffragist; Laura's beloved teacher, who married a missionary and died insane from syphilis; an Irish orphan with whom Laura had a tumultuous affair; Annie Sullivan; and even the young Helen Keller.

Deeply enthralling and rich with lyricism, WHAT IS VISIBLE chronicles the breathtaking experiment that Laura Bridgman embodied and its links to the great social, philosophical, theological, and educational changes rocking Victorian America. Given Laura's worldwide fame in the nineteenth century, it is astonishing that she has been virtually erased from history. WHAT IS VISIBLE will set the record straight.



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What Is Visible A Novel


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Publish Date




Format: Book
Author: Elkins, Kimberly
Title: What is visible : a novel / Kimberly Elkins.
Publisher Date: New York : Twelve, 2014.
Subject: Bridgman, Laura Dewey, 1829-1889 -- Fiction. Deafblind women -- Fiction. American Sign Language -- Fiction.
Isbn: 9781455528967 (hardcover)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: F Elkins
Bib Id: 525993

Format: Book
Author: Elkins, Kimberly.
Title: What is visible : a novel / Kimberly Elkins.
Edition: First edition.
Publisher, Date: New York : Twelve, 2014.
Description: viii, 307 pages : illustration ; 24 cm
Subjects: Bridgman, Laura Dewey, 1829-1889 -- Fiction.
Subjects: Deafblind women -- Fiction.
Subjects: American Sign Language -- Fiction.
LCCN: 2013034399
ISBN: 9781455528967 (hardcover)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: F Elkins