Miss Alcott's E-mail


“(An) excellent book…the effect is like a wonderful movie shot with a hand-held camera.” —Carolyn See, Washington Post Book World

“Debut author Bakke’s enduring appreciation of Louisa May Alcott inspired a uniquely constructed epistolary bio-memoir in which Bakke and Alcott exchange e-mails across time, many on the subject of how women can maintain a life of purpose while entering middle age. This intriguing and lively imagery correspondence is interleaved with Bakke’s historical essays about Alcott’s life, which provide a concise biography of the women’s-movement pioneer. Bakke also expresses an affinity for Alcott’s abolitionist stance, which leads her to gloss over the violent acts of Alcott’s great hero, John Brown, just as Alcott did. Bakke also reflects on her own radical past. As a former member of the Weather Underground, Bakke has experience with a revolutionary movement and the controversy it engendered and finds in Alcott a kindred spirit. Alcott fans will enjoy the biographical essays and keen manner in which Bakke assumes Alcott’s voice and connects two distant eras. Readers interested in the 1960s protest movement will also find much to consider in Bakke’s frank assessments of her own turbulent young adulthood.”
—Colleen Mondor, American Library Association

“Bakke draws stimulating parallels between Alcott’s life in the 1860s and her own background as a nurse and 1960s antiwar activist. Through Alcott, Bakke explores such issues as feminism, war, transcendentalism, nursing the sick, writing, and civil rights. Each chapter begins with a letter from Bakke introducing a new topic, then continues with historical and biographical information about Alcott, her contemporaries, and her times. By mixing Alcott’s biography with intriguing phases of her own life, Bakke successfully underscores that social struggles continue.”
Library Journal