Tag Archives: Pink Umbrella books

In My Hand

newpinkumbrellalogoYesterday a small package arrived with two author copies of Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes. I’d sort of been expecting it; when I saw the pink umbrella on the envelope I knew what it was. (And I already know what I’m getting family and friends for Christmas this year–LOL!)

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It still took me a little bit by surprise, though. In this era of e-books and Kindle Unlimited and Print-on-Demand, paperbacks are something of a novelty.

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Illustration from “Little Women,” 1870. Library of Congress. From Lapham’s Quarterly

I mean, really, this is a book about the 150th anniversary of Little Women. This iconic picture of Jo March also represents her creator Louisa May Alcott: a woman, pen in hand, writing on paper, “scribbling” in the attic. It has to be on paper.

Or does it? Wouldn’t Louisa have at least dabbled in e-publishing if she had the chance? My guess is, yes, absolutely. She would have published her plays and potboilers and gained a wide following on the internet. And Friedrich Bhaer would just have had to smile and get over it.

But there’s still something special about holding your book in your hand:

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Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes

Earlier in the year I posted about an Anthology coming out on the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I have a short essay in this anthology, called “Finding the Palace Beautiful.” In the essay, I contrast Beth March the introvert, with Jo March the extrovert, and I discuss their complementary temperaments in the framework of Susan Cain’s recent book, Quiet.

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The publisher, Pink Umbrella Books, recently contacted me to explain that there will be a celebration at Orchard House, Louisa’s home itself, on September 30 2018, and a blog tour. For the blog tour, I will need to send them a picture of myself reading Little Women next to a local landmark.

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Fortunately I have the right book to be reading: pictured above lying on the bed next to our kitty, it is the edition I first read myself 40 years ago, and the same copy I later read to my daughter. It’s a little beat up, but still a detailed, worthy-looking volume with a history. I’m not sure what landmark to choose, though, here in Silicon Valley.

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I used to live in the Boston area and if I still did, I would be back to Orchard House for the celebration in a jiffy! My daughter toured it with her Girl Scout Troop years ago, and then our family did again with our Unitarian-Universalist church. The Alcotts were well-known Unitarians and a trip to Orchard House, along with trips to Walden Pond, the House of Seven Gables, and Mount Auburn Cemetery, was part of the coming-of-age education at our church there.

Either way, it’s fun to think about. I also reached out to the Mountain View Public Library about hosting another event and reading, which may happen later in the year.

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The book is called Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes. Look for it in September 2018! Now available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.