Anne Boyd Rioux
Recovering Women's Voices * Telling Women's Stories
A professor at the University of New Orleans, Anne Boyd Rioux is a writer who specializes in recovering forgotten or lesser known women writers. She is the author/editor of six books and the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, one for Public Scholarship.
Rioux’s latest book is Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters, to be published this summer by Norton. She is also the editor of a new deluxe edition of Little Women from Penguin Classics. Both publications are timed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the novel’s original publication. Although Alcott’s novel is a beloved classic, it has often been dismissed as only a girls’ book and misunderstood as a simple, sweet tale of sisters growing up. As Rioux shows, the book is much darker and more conflicted that most of us remember from our childhood reading.
Rioux’s last book, Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist, was published by Norton in 2016. It was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune and reviewed on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. This biography, and the collection of stories, Miss Grief and Other Stories, which Rioux edited, helped bring Woolson the renewed attention she deserved. A hauntingly beautiful writer praised by Colm Toibin in the foreword to the collection, Woolson was famous in her day but neglected as the all-male American literary canon formed in the twentieth century.
In her teaching and writing, Rioux is passionate about the recovery of 19th-century American women writers who wrote fascinating, sometimes provocative, and often daring works that have been unavailable and unread for generations. While this began as a scholarly interest, Rioux’s mission extended beyond the walls of academia as she realized how important it is for women writers today to know about these amazing foremothers who have been kept hidden from them. In addition to writing for scholarly and general interest publications, Riouxhas also written Writing for Immorality: Women and the Emergence of High Literary Culture in America and edited Wielding the Pen: Writings on Authorship by American Women of the Nineteenth Century, both published by Johns Hopkins.