April Bernard: Miss Fuller
Tuesday April 3, 2012
She was the most famous woman in America. And nobody knew who she was.
It is 1850. Margaret Fuller – feminist, journalist, orator – is returning from Europe where she covered the Italian revolution for The New York Tribune. She is bringing home with her an Italian husband, the Count Ossoli, and their two-year-old son. But this is not the gala return of a beloved American heroine. This is a furtive, impoverished return under a cloud of suspicion and controversy. When the ship founders in a hurricane and her small family drown, friends back home, Ralph Waldo Emerson and others of the Transcendentalist Concord circle, send Henry David Thoreau to the wreck in hopes of recovering her last manuscript. He comes back declaring himself empty-handed – but actually he has found a private and revealing document, a confession in letters, of a strong and beloved woman's life like no other in the 19th century. Miss Fuller, a richly imagined historical novel inspired by the passion and drama of a singular life, shows the price that any one person might pay, who strives to change the world for the better.
April Bernard is a novelist, poet, and essayist. Her books include the novel Pirate Jenny and the poetry collections Romanticism, Blackbird Bye Bye, Psalms, and Swan Electric. She is Director of Creative Writing at Skidmore College and is on the faculty of the Bennington MFA Writing Seminars.
A Reading Group Guide and more information can be found at www.missfuller.com