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

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

They say that in the end truth will triumph, but it's a lie.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.