Louisa May Alcott portrays a writer as worthy of interest in her own right as her most famous character, Jo March, and addresses all aspects of Alcott's life: the effect of her father's self-indulgent utopian schemes; her family's chronic economic difficulties and frequent uprootings; her experience as a nurse in the Civil War; and the loss of her health and frequent recourse to opiates in search of relief from migraines, insomnia, and symptomatic pain. Stories and details culled from Alcott's journals; her equally rich letters to family, friends, publishers, and admiring readers; and the correspondence, journals, and recollections of her family, friends, and famous contemporaries provide the basis for this lively account of the author's classic rags-to-riches tale.
Alcott would become the equivalent of a multimillionaire in her lifetime based on the astounding sales of her books, leaving contemporaries like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Henry James in the dust. This biography explores Alcott's life in the context of her works, all of which are to some extent autobiographical. A fresh, modern take on this remarkable and prolific writer, who secretly authored pulp fiction, harbored radical abolitionist views, and completed heroic service as a Civil War nurse, Louisa May Alcott is also the story of how the all-time beloved American classic Little Women came to be. This revelatory portrait will present the popular author as she was and as she has never been seen before.
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by Harriet Doerr
by Luisa Plaja
by Lucy Christopher
by Jessica Hart
by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.
by Lee Smith
by Caroline Fraser
by Professor Michael Drout
by Charlotte Gordon
"Reisen's thoughtful biography of American icon Louisa May Alcott is a successful tapestry of the pieces of history woven into Alcott's fiction and the author's personal life. Reisen is not a performer but a researcher, so her unpretentious reading of her work is like listening to a good speaker at an intellectual gathering. Reisen brings together many years of research, including information from letters between Alcott family members and their many personal journals. In her readings from Louisa May's letters and journals, Reisen proves her expertise in creating a fully developed biography of a deeply complex figure. The analysis of the Alcott family drama and Louisa May's development creates an absorbing listening experience. R.F. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"
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