BA Features What is Visible by Kimberly Elkins

Welcome to BA’s Book Features showcasing a small collection of books to be released this week, or showcasing a special feature as part of a blog tour and promotion event. If you’d like to have your book featured on Bookish Ardour please send an enquiry.

Author Kimberly Elkins and her novel What is Visible

Synopsis

What is VisibleA 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.

About the Author

Kimberly Elkins grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Best New American Voices, The Iowa Review, The Village Voice, The Chicago Tribune, Maisonneuve, Glamour, Prevention, Slice and McGraw-Hill’s college textbook, Arguing Through Literature, among others.

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