Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography
Publication on November 4th. See my reading schedule below--a few early reviews.
Biography fans will devour Louisa May Alcott, Susan Cheever’s briskly paced examination of the Little Women author, who died at age 55 in 1888. Even if Alcott’s background hadn’t included writing an enduring classic of American literature, her life would have made for a rollicking read. It’s an opportunity that Cheever does not squander. --Bookpage
A starred review in Publisher's Weekly calls it "keen, refreshing and authoritative." Kirkus says that, "Alcott was able to exemplify her belief that an unmarried woman could be intelligent, successful and, perhaps more importantly, happy. Throughout the narrative, Cheever allows Alcott's complex humanity to reveal itself slowly, drawing the reader into her iconic life. Lively and astute."
Please come and see me read and talk about Louisa May Alcott:
11/2 Pleasantville, New York. The Village Bookstore 5-7pm
11/3 NYC: New York Society Library - talk/signing at 6:30 PM
11/4 NYC: B&N Upper East Side - talks/signing at 7 PM
11/5 New Orleans: Maple Street Book Shop - talk/signing at 6 PM
11/8 NYC: Corner Bookstore - talk/signing at 6 PM
11/10 Mass: Odyssey (South Hadley) - talk/signing at 7 PM
11/11 Mass: Front Street Books (Scituate) - talk/signing at 7 PM
11/13 Mass: Tatnuck (Westborough) - talk/signing at 1 PM
11/14 Mass: Concord Bookshop - talk/signing at 3 PM
11/16 Mass: Andover Bookshop - talk/signing at 7 PM
11/17 Mass: Wellesley Booksmith - talk/signing at 7 PM
11/18 Mass: Harvard Bookstore - talk/signing at 7 PM
11/20, 21 Fla: Miami Book Fair
11/23 Conn: RJ Julia - talk/signing at 7 PM
12/1 Conn: Bank Square Books (Mystic) - lunch/signing at 12 noon
12/1 Mass: Hingham Library - talk/signing at 7 PM, books via Buttonwood
12/2 Mass: Porter Square - talk/signing at 7 PM
My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous, my biography of Bill Wilson, was published in 2004. The paperback was published in August 2005.
Since 1980, I have also published five novels, a biographical study, and four memoirs.
I have written for many publications including The New Yorker and The New York Times. I've taught at Yale University and at The New School, and am on the faculty of the Bennington College MFA Program. I have been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Winship Medal, and an Associated Press Award. I am a director of the Yaddo Corporation and a member of the Authors Guild Council.
My most recent memoir is As Good As I Could Be: A Memoir of Raising Wonderful Children in Difficult Times.
"I don’t feel that I choose memoir,” I once told an interviewer. “It chooses me.”
Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction, was published in October, 2008. The New York Post called it a "short, steamy read" and branded me as "wry", the New York Times featured it in the Home section and it got well reviewed in the New York Times Book Review.
American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau had a great year with many months on the Boston Globe best-seller list and other lists around Boston. It's now selling well in paperback.
My 20 favorite books.
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
A book suffused with longing for the lost world of adulthood.
Father and Son by Edmund Gosse
A model for writing about a parent.
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabakov
A book suffused with longing for the lost world of childhood.
In Pharoah's Army by Tobias Wolff
Elegant and electrifying book about the war in Vietnam and the war in our hearts.
A Drinking Life by Pete Hammill
Another kind of history of New York.
The Liar's Club by Mary Karr
Amazing stories that never would have been told before memoir became a popular form.
Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick
A daughter writes about her mother with grace and wit.
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
A beautiful meditation on the nature of physical beauty.
This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff
A son writes about his mother with grace and wit.
Art and Ardor by Cynthia Ozick
Everything she writes is brilliant.
An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
The title says it all.
The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams
The gold standard.
Duke of Deception by Geoffrey Wolff
A son writes about his father with grace and wit.
Growing Up by Russell Baker
A gentleman's memoir.
The Shadow Man by Mary Gordon
A daughter writes about her father with grace and wit.
Salvation on Sand Mountain by Denis Covington
One of the best memoirs ever written.
Self-Consciousness by John Updike
Grace and wit personified.
Haywire by Brooke Hayward
A daughter writes about her family.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
All politics are autobiographical; this great book is an example.
Looking for Work, 1980 (Simon & Schuster)
A Handsome Man, 1981 (Simon & Schuster)
The Cage, 1982 (Houghton Mifflin)
Doctors & Women, 1987 (Clarkson N. Potter)
Elizabeth Cole, 1989 (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Home Before Dark: A Biographical Memoir of John Cheever, l984 (Houghton Mifflin)
Treetops: A Family Memoir. l991 (Bantam)
A Woman's Life: The Story of an Extraordinary Generation. l994 (William Morrow)
Note Found in a Bottle: My Life As a Drinker. l999 (Simon & Schuster)
As Good As I Could Be: A Memoir of Raising Wonderful Children in Difficult Times. 2001
My Name Is Bill. Bill Wilson: His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous. 2004
American Bloomsbury: The Lives of Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau in Concord Massachusetts from 1840 to 1868. 2006 (Simon & Schuster)
Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction. 2008 (Simon & Schuster)
I have written essays, book reviews and articles regularly for many publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Talk Magazine and The Washington Post. From 1992-2006 I wrote a column for Newsday on subjects from parenting to politics. From 1974-1978 I was a writer at Newsweek. From 1969 to 1972 I was reporter for the Westchester Rockland Newspapers.
1966-1970. High School. English: The Colorado Rocky Mountain School in
Carbondale, Colorado and The Scarborough School in Scarborough, New York.
1995 Hunter College.
1994-96 Marymount Manhattan.
1999 Yale University.
1995-the present, Professor Bennington College M.F.A. Program.
2004-the present, Professor the New School M.F.A. program.
DEGREES and AWARDS
Brown University B.A. in American Literature. Studies at Harvard College and New York University. National Book Critic's Circle Award nominee, Boston Globe's Winship Medal winner, Associated Press award winner, part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team at Newsday, New York Public Library Literary Lion, Guggenheim fellow, a member of the Authors Guild Council and a director of the Board of the Yaddo Corporation.
Louisa May Alcott A Personal Biography
Lively and astute!
American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau
Transcendentalism--the story behind the scenes.
Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction
"A short, steamy read."
--New York Post
My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous
"As a biography of one of the most humane and beneficial Americans who ever lived, it is a national treasure."
As Good As I Could Be
Raising wonderful children in a difficult world
Home Before Dark
A poignant memoir of a man driven by boundless genius and ambition.
Note Found in a Bottle
"Engrossing and remarkably devoid of self-flagellation."
"Ms. Cheever's. . . coolly intelligent perspective. . . provides a clear, hard-edged picture of the snobbery, sexism, anti-Semitism adultery, alcoholism, and emotional dishonesty that were part and parcel of those swimming pools and tennis courts."
--Wall Street Journal
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1989
Doctors and Women
Clarkson N. Potter, 1987
Houghton Mifflin, 1982. Paperback: Random House, 1983.
A Handsome Man
Simon & Schuster, 1981. Paperback: Ballantine Group: 1982.
Looking for Work
Simon & Schuster, 1980. Paperback: Fawcett, 1982.