The author of American Bloomsbury returns to Concord, Massachusetts, for this engaging life of its most famous female writer. Louisa May Alcott never intended to write Little Women; she had dismissed her publisher's pleas for such a novel, until the financial needs of her family compelled her. Susan Cheever's biography chronicles all aspects of Alcott's life, from the fateful meeting of her parents in Brookline in the 1820s to her death in 1888, just two days after that of her father. Cheever underscores how Alcott's independence defied the conventional wisdom and her personal choices and literary legacy continue to inspire generations of women.
"Cheever laces this provocative biography with musings on the genesis of genius, and her identification with Jo March when she was a rebellious girl in the throes of puberty.... Keen, refreshing, and authoritative."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)