The Bee and the Fly: The Improbable Correspondence of Louisa May Alcott and Emily Dickinson presents a lifelong exchange of unknown letters between Dickinson, the reclusive poet, and Alcott, the most renowned author of the time.
What could Alcott say to Dickinson about abolitionism and women’s rights? What might Dickinson reveal to Alcott about her thoughts on marriage and eternity? Researched for over five years and drawing heavily on biographical facts, these luminous letters present a friendship that explores the questions of family responsibilities, women’s growing influence in the literary world, the cost of fame, and the power of sorority.
In a remarkably convincing rendering, The Bee and the Fly imagines a twenty-five year correspondence between two ground-breaking 19th century authors. This novel brilliantly captures the contrasting personalities and distinctive writing cadences of both Louisa May Alcott and Emily Dickinson. Those already well-acquainted with the biographies of these two remarkable women will find few historical inaccuracies in this meticulously-researched novel. Those less familiar will be captivated by the revelations of their experiences and insightful reflections. Either way, you’ll come away feeling as if you’ve just spent a few engaging hours reminiscing with dearly cherished friends.—Amy Belding Brown, author of Emily’s House, Flight of the Sparrow and Mr. Emerson’s Wife
LORRAINE and JANE were high school friends. Reconnecting forty years later, they found that they were very nearly the spirit of Louisa and Emily in the world today.
LORRAINE TOSIELLO read Alcott’s Little Women in the first grade, and again and again most years of her childhood after that. That set her off on her life journey of reading, working as a physician, motherhood, traveling, and general rabble-rousing. Rereading Little Women in later adulthood renewed her Alcott enthusiasm and years of study resulted in her first novel, Only Gossip Prospers: A Novel of Louisa May Alcott in New York. She lives with her husband in midtown Manhattan and at the New Jersey shore.
JANE CAVOLINA has been absorbed in a book since her mother signed her up for a book club before she started nursery school. That led to a career in publishing, first as a senior editor at William Morrow, Crown, and Pocket Books, and now as a copyeditor. She is the coauthor of Growing Up Catholic, which was on The New York Times bestseller list for forty weeks, and other works. She has read every Louisa May Alcott book in the Bayside Public Library with the exception of Little Women, and has worn out several copies of Leaves of Grass, by her other favorite poet, and cherishes her well-flagged copy of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.
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