Margaret Fuller: Book summary and reviews of Margaret Fuller by Megan Marshall

Margaret Fuller

A New American Life

By Megan Marshall

Margaret Fuller
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2014,
    496 pages.

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Book Summary

Pulitzer Prize finalist Megan Marshall recounts the trailblazing life of Margaret Fuller: Thoreau's first editor, Emerson's close friend, daring war correspondent, tragic heroine. After her untimely death in a shipwreck off Fire Island, the sense and passion of her life's work were eclipsed by scandal. Marshall's inspired narrative brings her back to indelible life.

Whether detailing her front-page New-York Tribune editorials against poor conditions in the city's prisons and mental hospitals, or illuminating her late-in-life hunger for passionate experience—including a secret affair with a young officer in the Roman Guard—Marshall's biography gives the most thorough and compassionate view of an extraordinary woman. No biography of Fuller has made her ideas so alive or her life so moving.

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2014

Reviews

Media Reviews

"The book's success comes from the way that Marshall allows the reader to understand and empathize with Fuller in her plight." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A magnificent biography of a revolutionary thinker, witness, and writer." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Friend of intellectual lights of the day, cultural emissary and author in her own right, Fuller had finally attained her own destiny. Lively, intuitive study of a remarkable American character. " - Kirkus Reviews

"Thoroughly absorbing, lively... Fuller, so misunderstood in life, richly deserves the nuanced, compassionate portrait Marshall paints." - Boston Globe

"'Margaret Fuller' is as seductive as it is impressive... In Ms. Marshall, Fuller has found what feels like her ideal biographer." - New York Times

"Shaping her narrative like a novel, Marshall brings the reader as close as possible to Fuller's inner life and conveys the inspirational power she has achieved for several generations of women." - New Republic

"Megan Marshall's brilliant Margaret Fuller brings us as close as we are ever likely to get to this astonishing creature. She rushes out at us from her nineteenth century, always several steps ahead, inspiring, heartbreaking, magnificent." — Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity

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Megan Marshall is the author of The Peabody Sisters, which won the Francis Parkman Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography and memoir. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, and Slate. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEH fellowships, Marshall teaches narrative nonfiction and the art of archival research in the MFA program at Emerson College.

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