Kate Bolick, Carmen Maria Machado, Jane Smiley, and Jenny Zhang
PositiveThe Los Angeles Review of Books...[a] thoughtful, acute collection of essays ... In tracing the natures of the four March sisters against their own lives and judgments, Bolick, Zhang, Machado, and Smiley all consider the utility of archetype writing and, in doing so, unearth complicated truths about the evolution of their own female identities ... One of the beautiful things about March Sisters is that it’s all very relational. By nature of there being four subjects and four authors, there is no single, definitive model — of femininity, of feminism — to measure against. The worlds of Little Women and March Sisters and the authors’ lives are all reconstructed to exist on the same boundary-less continuum ... thanks to the writers’ deep and disciplined investigations, the March sisters aren’t so blunt, after all. It’s our perfunctory readings, or the media’s repackaging of the story, or pop culture’s relentless editing-out of nuance that has cast the women as so one-dimensional. In fact, as Bolick, Zhang, Machado, and Smiley ultimately find, the girls present complicated and therefore more true portrayals of the stubborn difficulties of being a woman.