Kathleen Hagen's Reviews > Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller

Blind Rage by Georgina Kleege
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's review
Jan 06, 2009

bookshelves: 2008-audio-books, 2008-nonfiction
Read in October, 2008

Blind Rage: an open Letter to Helen Keller, by Georgina Kleege. Borrowed from Library of Congress Library Services for the blind.

This month has definitely been one for amazing books, and this is another one. Georgina Kleege is a blind professor of English and creative writing at Berkeley. She took on the task of writing about Helen Keller, but with a difference. She tried to look beyond the myths about Helen, to analyze things that must have been stressful to Helen. She used all the nonfiction accounts, including those written by Keller, as reference material, and then fictionalized conversations with Helen Keller, really a combining of fiction and nonfiction.

Many blind people, plus people with other disabilities, who have grown up hearing about Helen Keller, her saintliness and cheerfulness, etc. hated her. Georgina began these letters to Helen Keller with that same feeling about her. But as she read about Helen, the biographies about her and the books and journals she wrote about her own life, her feelings changed. This book, based on nonfiction writings, still has the feel of fiction because Georgina is writing a letter to Helen Keller who in 2006 has been dead for almost 40 years. Georgina explores Helen’s life, makes guesses about her feelings at various times, discusses her own feelings as a blind woman, and much much more. This book blew me away!

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