Summary of “Little Women: Louisa May Alcott’s Misunderstood Classic”

That Little Women, which Alcott embarked on with reluctance and wrote with formulaic conventions in mind, turned out to be the book that made her name and her fortune.
If each era gets the Little Women adaptation it deserves, this is Alcott as fall-wedding Pinterest board.
Robin Swicord, who wrote the screenplay, created virtually every line of dialogue from scratch, saying that she had imagined what Alcott might have written had she been “Freed of the cultural restraints” of her time.
Focusing on the Marches as more than just daughters, sisters, and wives, Armstrong’s Little Women also foregrounds its characters’ creative talents-their plays, their newspaper, Jo’s writing, Amy’s art-without sacrificing the aspects that readers have come to love, not least the have-it-all denouement that Alcott fiercely, and by now famously, resisted delivering in its most treacly form: Chafing at the pressure to marry Jo off, she made sure to flout readers’ desperate desire to see Jo end up with Laurie.
Alcott instead paired her with the older, far less glamorous Professor Bhaer-a subversive step beyond which a late-20th-century director and audience plainly weren’t ready to go, aware though Armstrong surely was that the author herself had yearned to leave Jo single.
In the future who’s to say what choices new film incarnations might make? Lea Thompson is starring as Marmee in a feature-length “Modern” update of Little Women pegged for release this year, and the actor and Oscar-nominated director Greta Gerwig is adapting and directing a version to appear in 2019; Robin Swicord is back, this time as a producer, and the star-studded cast will include Meryl Streep.
The latest adapters proceed, they have already found-as have directors and writers before them-that the reality of Alcott’s life adds a liberating, complicating dimension to the story of Little Women.
Writing as A. M. Barnard, she empowered her adult heroines in ways her little women could only dream of.

The orginal article.