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The Blessings of Connection

The Concord writers wrote some of the most famous and influential books of the 19th century.

Louisa May Alcott is beloved for her novel Little Women. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote many notable books such as the Scarlet Letter and the House of Seven Gables. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most recognized works are his volumes of poetry titled Essays, First and Second Series, as well as his poem the Concord Hymn which famously coined the phrase “the shot heard round the world”. And, Henry David Thoreau is most extolled for his book Walden in which he went to the woods "in order to live more deliberatley".


Much like another celebrated literary group, the London Bloomsbury Group, the Concord writers had a shared set of values, morals, beliefs and a common appreciation for art and literature. They were abolitionists, transcendentalists, nature lovers as well as writers and poets. In her upcoming Coudert Institute presentation, The Concord Writers, author Susan Cheever will explore the nature of this genius cluster amongst which creativity was so well transmitted. In doing so, she'll share her beloved book American Bloomsbury, unpack the merits of creative connection, and compare contagion to its modern day applications.

Susan Cheever is an acclaimed, best-selling author whose sixteen published books and dozens of essays have built on the brilliant legacy of her father, the novelist and short story writer John Cheever whose stories will be the subject of her upcoming book When All the Men Wore Hats. She has published five memoirs, three additional biographies including the best-selling American Bloomsbury: Louisa  May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel HawthorneandHenry David Thoreau, their lives, their loves, their work, and My Name is Bill, Bill Wilson--His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous, and five novels.  Her book about American history as seen through the lens of alcoholism Drinking in America. Our Secret History was published in 2015 and longlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for nonfiction. Her biography of the poet E.E. Cummings was published in February of 2014. Her biography of Louisa May Alcott was published in November 2010. She has written for many magazines and newspapers including The New Yorker, The New York Times and Newsday where she contributed to winning a 1997 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. She has also taught at Yale, Sarah Lawrence, Brown University, the New School and Bennington.  Her other awards include a National Book Critic Circle nomination, the Associated Press award for investigative reporting, the Boston Globe's Winship Medal, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She's on the board of the Yaddo Corporation and the Author's Guild Council. We are beyond delighted to welcome her here to Palm Beach this season What are the blessings of community? Join us at 11:30, on Thursday, March 18, for lunch and discussion at The Sailfish Club as the Coudert Institute probes this timely inquiry. Purchase tickets HERE.

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