Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women
In this absorbing biography, Harriet Reisen examines the intriguing life of Louisa May Alcott. Written in an engaging narrative that keeps the pages turning, the book covers not only Alcott but also her parents, siblings, and family friends (including Emerson and Thoreau) to provide a multifaceted view of a woman in the context of her place and time—from her birth into genteel poverty to a free-spirited but long-suffering mother and an eccentric Transcendentalist father; through an uncomfortable and often downright bizarre childhood; to her life as a single woman and her hard-won success as a writer of pulp fiction, poetry, romance, and finally her great masterpiece, Little Women and its sequels. Incorporating journal and diary entries, letters, and poems, and including analyses of Alcott’s published and unpublished work, Reisen creates an insightful and enlightening look at a writer who influenced so many, and how very much her art imitated her life. Highly recommended.