Cover image for Louisa May Alcott : selected fiction
Title:
Louisa May Alcott : selected fiction
Author:
Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888.
Uniform Title:
Fiction. Selections
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, [1990]

©1990
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316783491
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Material Type
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Status
Central Library FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Ranging from excerpts from the Little Women trilogy to experimental short stories, juvenile fiction, and autobiographic tales, this collection reveals the range of Alcott's imagination and her constantly shifting interests in both subject and style.


Author Notes

Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1832. Two years later, she moved with her family to Boston and in 1840 to Concord, which was to remain her family home for the rest of her life. Her father, Bronson Alcott, was a transcendentalist and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Alcott early realized that her father could not be counted on as sole support of his family, and so she sacrificed much of her own pleasure to earn money by sewing, teaching, and churning out potboilers. Her reputation was established with Hospital Sketches (1863), which was an account of her work as a volunteer nurse in Washington, D.C.

Alcott's first works were written for children, including her best-known Little Women (1868--69) and Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys (1871). Moods (1864), a "passionate conflict," was written for adults. Alcott's writing eventually became the family's main source of income.

Throughout her life, Alcott continued to produce highly popular and idealistic literature for children. An Old-Fashioned Girl (1870), Eight Cousins (1875), Rose in Bloom (1876), Under the Lilacs (1878), and Jack and Jill (1881) enjoyed wide popularity. At the same time, her adult fiction, such as the autobiographical novel Work: A Story of Experience (1873) and A Modern Mephistopheles (1877), a story based on the Faust legend, shows her deeper concern with such social issues as education, prison reform, and women's suffrage. She realistically depicts the problems of adolescents and working women, the difficulties of relationships between men and women, and the values of the single woman's life.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

At last, for the many and varied Louisa May Alcott fans, an anthology of a wide selection of her work. Alcott, one of the most prolific American writers, spun tales far more numerous and diverse than the Little Women trilogy she is best known for. Carefully researched and compiled, this collection not only provides delightful entertainment but tracks Alcott's progress through her long and interesting career. A must purchase for public libraries catering to serious readers of nineteenth-century American literature. ~--Tracie Richardson


Publisher's Weekly Review

One of the most prolific authors of her day, Alcott (1832-1888) is popularly identified with Little Women. Compiled by the editors of her journals, letters and A Double Life: Newly Discovered Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott , this anthology displays the range of her fiction. Raised in an impoverished, fiercely intellectual New England home according to transcendentalist principles, Alcott vented a fertile imagination and satisfied a need for money by producing romances, often under a pseudonym, for a ready audience. One of these, ``The Rival Prima Donnas,'' though staid by contemporary norms, bespeaks Alcott's storyteller's passion. Alcott's later, realistic narratives, often with macabre themes, are represented in ``Hope's Debut,'' with its shadow of incest and a curiously modern note in its theatrical background. Readers view the evolution of a thoughtful, expressive woman who wrote about war, race relations and the state of being single as well as about family. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

YA-- An exciting collection that includes a more than a representative number of works and categorizes them into Alcott's different writing periods. Readers who consider her a 19th-century New England spinster who wrote only a few novels will be taken aback by her depth, variety, and prolificacy. An introduction provides excellent background on both the author and her oeuvre; it alone will serve as an excellent source for research. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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