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Katharine Weber
Katharine Weber

The Little Women

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The Little Women

A B O U T--T H E--B O O K

Book coverIn Katharine Weber's third novel, The Little Women, three adolescent sisters -- Meg, Jo, and Amy -- are shocked when they discover their mother's affair, but are truly devastated by their father's apparently easy forgiveness of her. Shattered by their parents' failure to live up to the moral standards and values of the family, the two younger sisters leave New York (and their private school) and move to Meg's apartment in New Haven, where Meg is a junior at Yale. They enroll in the local inner-city public high school, and divorced from their parents, they try to make a life with Meg as their surrogate mother.

Written in the form of an autobiographical novel by Joanna, the middle sister, the pages of the Little Women are punctuated by comments from the "real" Meg and Amy, as they confront their novelist sister both when she strays from the "truth" and when she appropriates and reveals personal details.

Why do readers insist on searching for the autobiographical elements of fiction? When does a novelist go too far in mulching actual experience for a novel? What rights, if any, does a writer have to grant the people in her life and story?

R E V I E W S

The family she always wanted
By Beth Kephart
The Chicago Tribune

Meg, Jo and Amy: Something Sound Familiar?
By Richard Eder
The New York Times

Riffing on Louisa May Alcott
By Emily Barton
The New York Times Sunday Book Review

An author displays her mind but hides her heart
By Beth Kephart
The Chicago Tribune

The Little Women
By Sally Selvadurai
Book Loons

H O N O R S

 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
 Chicago Tribune Best Books of 2003
 Finalist, 2004 Connecticut Book Award for Fiction
 Finalist, 2004 Paterson Fiction Prize

 

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