wordweaverlynn: (Default)
[personal profile] wordweaverlynn
[personal profile] dorothean asked: Tell me a bit about a book that was important to you as a child (or a childhood book whose memory is/was important to you as an adult).

When I was in first grade, my mother gave me her own copy of Little Women and said, "This is a book about four little girls just like you and your sisters." With that, she gave me permission to find myself in books, to build a family of the authors and characters, to transcend the merely real.

Alcott's world is powerfully female, which matched my experience. She was an overt feminist, which helped me form my own ferociously feminist identity. The preachy bits didn't bother me, because I needed some kind of mother to guide me -- and because the female characters were anything but paragons.

It didn't hurt that I'm the second of four girls, that we were the working poor, and that my father was notably absent during much of my earliest life (for which I am thankful; he was as lousy a provider as Bronson Alcott, but he couldn't even pretend to that bastard's aura of saintliness). Even before I met Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, I wanted to be a writer. Having Jo be the second girl was gravy.

Louisa May Alcott is still important to me. For one thing, she's a hell of a good writer: fluent, funny, colloquial, she has shaped my style as well as much else. For another, when I was in my late teens or so, Madeleine B. Stern began publishing Alcott's sensation stories. They're wonderful. And they gave me a sense of walking in familiar paths, because I have published far more under pen names than under my own, and a lot of my writing is of the sort that would give Professor Bhaer a heart attack.

ETA The entry is still open for questions.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-12 04:49 pm (UTC)
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
From: [personal profile] dorothean
I love this answer!

The preachy bits didn't bother me, because I needed some kind of mother to guide me

... huh, that explains a lot about some of my reading preferences.

I re-read Work recently. Have you read that one? I might love it even more than Little Women.

I never read any of her sensation stories. Do you have any recommendations?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-13 05:28 pm (UTC)
metaphortunate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] metaphortunate
With that, she gave me permission to find myself in books

Wow. That's powerful.

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