I grew up in New England as a bonafide bookworm. My love of reading, paired with an overly active imagination, led me to believe I was born in the wrong era. Instead of living in the ‘80s, I was supposed to be traveling across the prairie in a covered wagon (Laura Ingalls), chasing fauns through Narnia (Susan or Lucy Pevensie), or exploring Prince Edward Island in “puffed sleeves” (Anne Shirley); instead I crossed town in a station wagon to chase field hockey balls and wore Tretorns to explore the mall, all while dreaming of leading a more storied existence somewhere like Thornfield Hall, Manderley, or Tara.
After eventually moving to the West coast and attending graduate school, I started writing and teaching high school English and history. My first novel brings me full circle, back to a family dear to me since childhood—the Alcotts. As a young girl, I pored through Louisa May Alcott’s books and attended drama camp at the restored Alcott family home in Concord, Massachusetts. Although Louisa was always the headliner, her overlooked youngest sister, May, the artist, intrigued me.
Since I'm always drawn to women who linger in the footnotes of history books, I've found researching and writing about May’s journey as an artist to be my dream project. I’m thrilled to share her story with you!
Essays by Elise:
Short bio: Although a New Englander by birth, Elise lives with her husband and two young daughters in Seattle and teaches literature and history.
The Other Alcott is historical fiction about art, ambition, and the real women behind the March sisters in Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic Little Women.
Learning to See is also historical fiction about Dorothea Lange, the pioneering documentary photographer who captured iconic images of the Great Depression and the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.
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