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She was the most famous woman in America. And nobody knew who she was. It is 1850. Margaret Fuller -- feminist, journalist, orator, and “the most famous woman in America” -- is returning from Europe where she covered the Italian revolution for The New York Tribune. When her ship founders in a hurricane off Long Island and Fuller and her small family drown, her friends back home, Emerson and others of the Transcendentalist Concord circle, send Henry David Thoreau to the wreck in hopes of recovering her last book manuscript.
In Miss Fuller, Thoreau’s fictional younger sister, Anne Thoreau, examines the evidence left behind by a free thinking, free loving woman who had become as infamous as she was famous by the time of her death. What does one sensitive but ordinary woman make of a publicly disgraced woman like Fuller, and how do women make use of what they learn from other women? Miss Fuller is a historical novel that also poses timeless questions about how we see and treat the exceptional and dangerous agents of change among us. And it shows the price that any one person might pay, who strives to change the world for the better.
“April Bernard makes Margaret Fuller as likable and difficult, as inspiring and sad, as she must have seemed to her contemporaries, who were shocked by her revolutionary ideas and unorthodox life. Original, brilliant, and moving, Miss Fuller meditates ruefully on the awkwardness of genius, especially if one were a nineteenth-century woman.” - Alice Mattison, author of The Book Borrower
“A beautifully written and constructed gem of a novel that totally absorbed me into its world.” - Caryl Phillips, author of Crossing the River