A Strange Life: Selected Essays of Louisa May Alcott (Hardcover)

A Strange Life: Selected Essays of Louisa May Alcott By Louisa May Alcott, Liz Rosenberg (Editor), Jane Smiley (Preface by) Cover Image

A Strange Life: Selected Essays of Louisa May Alcott (Hardcover)

By Louisa May Alcott, Liz Rosenberg (Editor), Jane Smiley (Preface by)


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Collected together for the very first time, witty and wide-ranging essays from the celebrated author of Little Women.

Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) is, of course, best known as the author of Little Women (1868). But she was also a noted essayist who wrote on a wide range of subjects, including her father’s failed utopian commune, the benefits of an unmarried life, and her experience as a young woman sent to work in service to alleviate her family’s poverty. Her first literary success was a contemporary close-up account of the American Civil War, brilliantly depicted in Hospital Sketches, which was drawn from her own experience of serving as an army nurse near the nation’s capital. As with her famous novel, Alcott writes these essays with clear observation, unforgettable scenes, and one of the sharpest wits in American literature.

Blending gentle satire with reportage and emotive autobiography, Alcott’s exquisite essays are as exceptional as the novels she is known for. Published together for the first time, this delightful selection shows us another side to one of our most celebrated writers.
Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women (1868) and its sequels Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). Raised in New England by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott, she grew up among many well-known intellectuals of the day, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Liz Rosenberg is the author of two biographies on women authors: House of Dreams: A Biography of L. M. Montgomery and Sorrows, Scribbles and Russet Leather Boots: A Biography of Louisa May Alcott. She is a Chancellor Award-winning professor of English at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and the author of numerous prize-winning books of fiction, poetry, and works for young readers. She lives in Binghamton, New York.

Jane Smiley is the author of many novels and works of nonfiction. Her latest novel is A Dangerous Business, a mystery set in 1850s Monterey, California, and her latest nonfiction book is The Questions that Matter Most. She writes in many genres and she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for A Thousand Acres.
Product Details ISBN: 9781912559435
ISBN-10: 1912559439
Publisher: Notting Hill Editions
Publication Date: October 31st, 2023
Pages: 168
Language: English
"A Strange Life is a thorough pleasure. Modest in size and design—it’ll fit in a pocket—the book puts emphasis where it belongs: on the vigorous prose of one of America’s most charming and memorable stylists." —Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

"Filled with scintillating prose and amusing stories, this persuasively makes the case that Alcott’s essays have been unjustly overlooked." —Publishers Weekly

"This collection reveals Alcott’s excellent writing abilities with her captivating accounts, keen observations, wit, and “modern opinions” about issues still relevant today.... this delightful book is highly recommended for all Alcott devotees. —Library Journal

"Lively, occasionally grim, and genuinely funny essays from a beloved author."  —Kirkus Reviews