Cover image for Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy : the story of Little Women and why it still matters
Title:
Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy : the story of Little Women and why it still matters
Author:
Rioux, Anne Boyd author.
ISBN:
9780393357271
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2019.

©2018
Physical Description:
xiv, 273 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Contents:
Prologue: "Our book" -- Part I. The making of a classic -- "Pegging away": the road to Little Women -- "We really lived most of it": making up Little Women -- "Fresh, sparkling,...full of soul": the phenomenon of Little Women -- Part II. The life of a classic -- "See her...living...the immortal Jo!": Little Women on stage and screen -- "The mother of us all": Little Women's cultural and literary influence -- "A divided house of a book": reading Little Women -- Part III. A classic for today -- "A private book for girls": can boys read Little Women? -- "Being someone": growing up female with Little Women -- "Wanting to be Rory, but better": Little Women and girls' stories today.
Abstract:
In Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Rioux recounts how Louisa May Alcott came to write Little Women, drawing inspiration for it from her own life. Rioux also examines why this tale of family and community ties, set while the Civil War tore America apart, has resonated through later wars, the Depression, and times of changing opportunities for women. Alcott’s novel has moved generations of women, many of them writers: Simone de Beauvoir, J. K. Rowling, bell hooks, Cynthia Ozick, Jane Smiley, Margo Jefferson, and Ursula K. Le Guin were inspired by Little Women, particularly its portrait of the iconoclastic young writer, Jo. Many have felt, as Anna Quindlen has declared, "Little Women changed my life." Today, Rioux sees the novel’s beating heart in Alcott's portrayal of family resilience and her honest look at the struggles of girls growing into women. In gauging its current status, Rioux shows why Little Women remains a book with such power that people carry its characters and spirit throughout their lives.
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