Voices in the dead house

2022, Book , 288 pages ;
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4238519
Summary/Review: "After the Union Army's defeat at Fredericksburg in 1862, Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott converge on Washington to attend to the sick, wounded, an more...
Summary/Review: "After the Union Army's defeat at Fredericksburg in 1862, Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott converge on Washington to attend to the sick, wounded, and dying. Both of these iconic Americans, known for bucking the conventions of their day, find their principles and beliefs tested by grueling and grisly duties. Walt Whitman was a man of many contradictions: egocentric yet compassionate, vain though frequently transported by the beauty of others, he was a bigot who sang the song of all mankind as the great poet of democracy. He delighted in the pleasures of the flesh and had no patience for religiosity but was moved by the spiritual in all men and women, from janitor to president. Louisa May Alcott, still beloved for Little Women, was an intense, intellectual, independent woman, an abolitionist and a suffragist, who was compelled to write saccharine magazine stories to save her mother and siblings from the poorhouse but aspired to true, unsentimental artistic expression. Alcott would write of her Civil War nursing experiences in Hospital Sketches and Whitman in his poem "The Wound Dresser", from which these vivid fictional evocations are in part drawn. In this double portrait, Lock deftly captures the special musicality and preoccupations of each writer as they confront war's devastation and grapple with the politics of a racist reality that continues to haunt us today"--
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