Wednesday, 10/24, 7p
Main Meeting Room (upstairs)
Join us to celebrate 150 years of the classic American novel Little Women, one of The Great American Read titles. Author Anne Boyd Rioux will discuss her Aug. 2018 book Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters. Soon after its publication on September 30, 1868, Little Women became an enormous bestseller and one of America’s favorite novels. It quickly traveled the world and since has become an international classic. When Anne Boyd Rioux read it in her twenties, it had a singularly powerful effect on her. Through teaching it, she has seen its effect on many others. In Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, she recounts how Louisa May Alcott came to write the book, drawing inspiration for it from her own life. She also examines why this tale of family and community ties, set while the Civil War tore the country apart, has resonated through later wars, the Great Depression, and times of changing opportunities for women. Alcott’s novel has moved generations of women, among them many writers. Simone de Beauvoir, J. K. Rowling, bell hooks, Cynthia Ozick, Jane Smiley, Margo Jefferson, and Ursula K. Le Guin were all inspired by Little Women, particularly its portrait of the iconoclastic young writer, Jo. Many women writers have felt as Anna Quindlen has declared, “Little Women changed my life.” Today, Rioux sees the novel’s beating heart in its portrayal of family resilience and its honest look at the struggles of girls growing into women. In gauging its current status, she shows why it remains a book with such power that people carry its characters and spirit throughout their lives.
Presenter Dr. Anne Boyd Rioux is the author or editor of six books about nineteenth-century American women writers, including Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters, which will be published on August 21, 2018. She has also written Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist, named one of the ten best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune. She is a professor of English at the University of New Orleans and the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, one for public scholarship. Visit Dr. Rioux online at https://anneboydrioux.com.
Free tickets here – rioux2018.brownpapertickets.com