This Year's Oscar-Nominated Book Adaptations By The Numbers

January 20, 2015 2:01 PM

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This Year's Oscar-Nominated Book Adaptations By The Numbers

Though best known for her somewhat treacly, semi-autobiographical novel Little Women, Louisa May Alcott’s real life was far more adventurous than the domestic interludes she described in her most famous work. Alcott was an abolitionist; her family’s home served as a station on the Underground Railroad. She later served briefly as a nurse in a Union army hospital, going on to write a (partially fictionalized) report entitled Hospital Sketches about working in the hospital. Her sentimental fiction for young people has been the source of her fame, but Alcott preferred the pulpy thrillers she wrote pseudonymously for adult audiences. Alcott remained single throughout her life, once explaining that she felt she had a “man's soul, put by some freak of nature into a woman's body... because I have fallen in love in my life with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man."

After an abusive childhood, writer Mary McCarthy rejected the Catholicism of her upbringing and turned to atheism and Communism. She later grew disillusioned with the Soviet Union but retained her very liberal politics until her death. She controversially defended the Vietcong during the Vietnam War...

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