Thomaston book club will discuss ‘What is Visible’ by Kimberly Elkins


THOMASTON — On Tuesday, June 20, at 2:30 p.m. at the Thomaston Library, the Thomaston Intergenerational Book Club will discuss What is Visible by Kimberly Elkins.

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 2, Bridgman lost four of her five senses to scarlet fever. At age 7, she was taken to Perkins Institute in Boston to determine if a child so terribly afflicted could be taught. At age 12, Charles Dickens declared her his prime interest for visiting America. And by age 20, she was considered the 19th 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 Bridgman - 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; Bridgman’s beloved teacher, who married a missionary and died insane from syphilis; an Irish orphan with whom Bridgman 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 Bridgman embodied and its links to the great social, philosophical, theological, and educational changes rocking Victorian America. Given Laura's worldwide fame in the 19th century, it is astonishing that she has been virtually erased from history.

On the third Tuesday of every month, the Intergenerational Book Club, a group of men and women of all ages, comes together at the library to share their opinions and ideas about the book selection. All are welcome. If you live in Thomaston and would like to attend but need a ride, call the library at 354-2453 a week before the discussion date. The selection for July is Love That Boy by Ron Fournier

Event Date: 
Tue, 06/20/2017 - 2:30pm
Event Location: 
Thomaston Academy - Thomaston Public Library