BookBrowse Reviews What Is Visible by Kimberly Elkins

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

What Is Visible

by Kimberly Elkins

What Is Visible
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2014, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2015, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


This superb work of historical fiction explores the life of America's first deaf-blind poster child, Laura Bridgman.

"Without Laura Bridgman there could never have been a Helen Keller," philosopher William James declared. Yet Laura has been largely forgotten, whereas Helen is an inspirational household name. Who was Laura Bridgman, and why was she so famous in her time? With her debut novel, Kimberly Elkins imagines Laura's rich inner life and places her within a fertile mid-century New England context – replete with educators, scientists, and reformers, but also with the threat of war and debates over slavery and religion.

Laura Bridgman The novel is bookended by scenes set in 1888, when fifty-eight-year-old Laura meets eight-year-old Helen Keller, "my presumptive heir." They have a mutual friend, Annie Sullivan, who learned the manual alphabet (see 'Beyond the Book') from Laura. Helen asks Laura which sense she would choose to regain. "Sight," she replies, "for life has been dark for over half a ...

Additional Information
The novel What Is Visible has been germinating for over a decade; Elkins published a related short story in The Atlantic in March 2003 and a different version of it then appeared in Best New American Voices 2004 and McGraw-Hill college textbook Arguing Through Literature. The prologue appeared (also in a different version) as a story in The Drum, and a version of chapter 17 appeared in the Chicago Tribune literary supplement.

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons

Beyond the Book:
  Communicating With the Deafblind

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.