John Matteson

John Matteson

I am a native of San Mateo, California, who came to the East for college and, for the most part, stayed. I have a history degree from Princeton, a law degree from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in English from Columbia. In between Harvard and Columbia, I worked as a litigator in San Francisco and Raleigh, North Carolina, but never really knew who I was until I put my law books in storage and decided to devote my life (or a fair amount of it) to reading good books and talking and writing about them. It's worked out pretty well. I'm now a distinguished professor of English at John Jay College in the City University of New York, teaching in the college's Honors Program. I wrote my first book, Eden's Outcasts, with inspirations supplied by my daughter, Rebecca, who resembles Louisa May Alcott in fascinating ways. Eden's Outcasts surprised all of us by winning a Pulitzer Prize in 2008. I was just as delighted with the response to my second book, The Lives of Margaret Fuller, which came out in 2012, and my annotated edition of Little Women, published in November 2015. I'm looking forward to the response to my most recent work, A Worse Place Than Hell, which will be published in February 2021.
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