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Download Louisa May Alcott: The Woman behind Little Women Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Louisa May Alcott: The Woman behind Little Women, by Harriet Reisen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (672 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Harriet Reisen Narrator: Harriet Reisen Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Enchanting…. [A] full and vivid portrait.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This magnificent new biography…will become not only a bestseller but also a classic.”

    Washington Times

  • “This compelling biography allows [listeners] to know Alcott and appreciate her as ‘her own best character.’”

    Library Journal

  • “Reisen does a fine job narrating her outstanding biography.”

    Booklist (audio review)

  • “A deliciously palatable biography of the iconic writer.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carol Carlson | 1/21/2014

    " Enjoyed learning more about the time in which Louisa lived. Her father was certainly like the father in March. How many times could a man fail! Based on her mother's portrayal, I can understand how and why Louisa became a strong woman. I found it interesting that she used her "trashy" writing to support her writing Little Women. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jenny | 1/21/2014

    " The book was slow to get into and the beginning of her life felt like it lasted years to read. The most fascinating part was all the influential people she grew up knowing. After reading the book I think I feel really sorry for her. I may read her books now looking for more autobiographical info, but I hope not! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Theresa Sivelle | 1/21/2014

    " I really did like this book. It was interesting to hear about the life of the very famous author. Although, I do not remember reading any of her books, not even little women and I call tell you that I was the only one at my book club who had not read Little Women, and I'm guessing I am one of very few in my generation that hasn't. Thinking I may need to get the book on CD. Times were sure different then. At least she was able to enjoy the fruits of her labor before she passed away, unlike so many authors then. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ketti | 1/20/2014

    " If you love Louisa May...this is the book for you. Great insight on her life. "

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About the Author

Harriet Reisen has directed, produced, and developed new programs in various facets of media, including television, radio, print, and publicity. Her writing has spanned comedy, drama, nonfiction, documentary, magazine journalism, radio commentary, film criticism, children’s books, and songs. Over the past twenty years, what began as an idea for a film biography of Louisa May Alcott developed into a passion for the subject herself. A former fellow in screenwriting at the American Film Institute, Reisen has written dramatic and historical documentary scripts for PBS and HBO and radio commentary for Morning Edition and Marketplace. She lives in Massachusetts.