In this blog post series, we’ll feature contributing authors from our new anthology, Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy. Today we’ll catch up with Stephanie Mann, Wichita author and presenter.
Contributor Stephanie Mann reads Little Women in Eighth Day Books, an independent bookstore in Wichita, Kansas.
What is your favorite scene from Little Women?
The opening scene is always fresh, no matter how many times I read it. Alcott sets the scene so beautifully and delineates the sisters’ characters so masterfully. While the narrator finally breaks in to explain the background to the story and does intrude to describe what Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy look like, she lets their dialogue tell the story of who they are.
Who are some of your other “imaginary heroes” from literature?
Kirsten Lavransdatter in the trilogy by Sigrid Undset (The Bridal Wreath, The Wife, and The Cross): a very different coming-of age-story set in medieval Norway about a girl who marries the wrong man and must deal with the consequences;
Kate Alard in Sheila Kaye-Smith’s Superstition Corner, a historical novel set in the historical period I write about, the English Reformation under the Tudors;
Cordelia in Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, the one member of the Flyte family who understands everyone and yet loves them, in spite of (or because of) their faults;
Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables: he is willing to sacrifice everything for justice and truth; he is always working to fulfill the faith that Bishop Myriel had in him.
Jo has both a writing space and a “scribbling suit” in the book. What does your writing space look like? What’s your favorite scribbling suit?
My scribbling suit is often my pajamas since I start writing or researching in the morning. I like to think about what to write while I’m walking the dogs (two walks for dogs with very different paces), write out a few notes on paper about what I want to write about, material to use, and the goal of the piece—then I compose at the laptop.
Stephanie A. Mann is a Wichita, Kansas, author and presenter who has carved out a niche as a specialist on the English Reformation and historical apologetics for national Catholic media like EWTN TV and Radio, The National Catholic Register, OSV’s The Catholic Answer Magazine, Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Crisis Magazine, Catholic World Report, and The Saint Austin Review. She also writes often for Tudor Life, the publication of the Tudor Society. Her book, Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation, is available from Scepter Publishers. She blogs at Supremacy & Survival.
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