Magazine article Variety

Anna Quindlin on 'Little Women'

Magazine article Variety

Anna Quindlin on 'Little Women'

Article excerpt

I never thought I would weep at the sight of book binding.

But in the final scene of Greta Gerwig's adaptation of "Little Women," that process becomes a dream, a livelihood, a life. That book being assembled piece by piece is not so much a book as the symbol of a free woman: Jo March, become completely and independently herself.

There's no reason to make again a film version of "Little Women" unless you are going to bring something new to the story. But reimagining a piece so known and so beloved is fraught. Jo and I have a long history, back to both our girlhoods, she the protagonist of the first great female coming-of-age story, me the aspiring writer seeing in her a model for my improbable hopes.

When, in the first few minutes of watching this recent film version, I realized that Gerwig was going to slice, dice and rearrange the novel's timeline, it was all I could do not to say "humph. …

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