Fast Friends: Mark Twain and Helen Keller

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A new article on Open Culture examines the fascinating friendship between Mark Twain and Helen Keller, two of the 20th century’s most revolution-minded popular authors. Twain was taken with Keller from their first meeting, and made it a personal mission to support her education and career. The two shared a love of the political underdog, and the belief that a more equal future for America could come only from an uprising of the working class. Keller’s fond recollections have their own place in history, as the last lines of Twain’s (first) autobiography:

“You once told me you were a pessimist, Mr. Clemons,” he quotes her as saying, “but great men are usually mistaken about themselves. You are an optimist.”


Dinah Fay is a poet, copywriter, and social media maven living in Brooklyn. She is the co-host of the Brick City Speaks reading series in Newark, where she is pursuing an MFA in writing from Rutgers University. More from this author →