Behind a Mask: A Short Story Collection

Louisa May Alcott

Behind a Mask: A Short Story Collection
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Behind a Mask: A Short Story Collection

Louisa May Alcott

The author of Little Women? and other beloved classics, Louisa May Alcott grew up in a community of New England transcendentalists that included Thoreau and Emerson. Because her learned but impractical father was a poor provider, she supported her family by writing magazine stories that were often published anonymously. This collection reveals the other Alcott, featuring Behind a Mask and Pauline’s Passion and Punishment, thrilling tales of seduction, betrayal, and murder that strike a markedly different tone and characterization from Alcott’s best-known work. Other selections include two pieces from Hospital Sketches, the author’s fictionalized accounts of her Civil War nursing experiences; My Contraband, a tale of vengeance involving a Civil War nurse, her Confederate patient, and his former slave; Happy Women, concerning four spinsters with a positive attitude toward their marital status; and How I Went Out to Service, an autobiographical sketch of a young woman’s pursuit of financial independence. AUTHOR: Best known as the author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott (1832 88) grew up in a community of New England transcendentalists that included Thoreau and Emerson. Because her learned but impractical father was a poor provider, she supported her family by writing stories for magazines while she was still a teenager. Alcott worked in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War as a nurse, recording her experiences in Hospital Sketches, and her many novels are particularly noteworthy for their portraits of strong, self-reliant heroines.

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