More from Alcott scholar Roberta Trites: Alcott and the emergence of the adolescent reform novel

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Alcott scholar Roberta Trites wrote a book published by the University of Iowa Press in 2007 called Twain, Alcott, and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel. I have one more short interview with Trites, conducted by WGLT host Charlie Schlenker where she talks about the beginnings of what she calls the adolescent reform novel:

If you want to hear the other interview with Trites on Louisa’s potboiler stories, go here to yesterday’s post.

Google Books has the following description about the book:
Trites argues that Twain and Alcott wrote on similar topics because they were so deeply affected by the Civil War, by cataclysmic emotional and financial losses in their families, by their cultural immersion in the tenets of Protestant philosophy, and by sexual tensions that may have stimulated their interest in writing for adolescents, Trites demonstrates how the authors participated in a cultural dynamic that marked the changing nature of adolescence in America, provoking a literary sentiment that continues to inform young adult literature. Both intuited that the transitory nature of adolescence makes it ripe for expression about human potential for change and reform.

I read a few pages on Amazon and put this book on my list, primarily because she has a chapter on something that’s fascinated me for quite some time – Louisa’s spiritual influences.

Oh, if only I could be two people so I could get through all the books I want to read! A nice problem. :-)


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