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Matteson, John 1961- (John Thomas Matteson)

Matteson, John 1961- (John Thomas Matteson)

PERSONAL:

Born March 3, 1961, in San Mateo, CA; son of Thomas Dickens and Rosemary Ann Matteson; married Michelle Marie Rollo (April 6, 1991); children: Rebecca Ann. Education: Princeton University, B.A., 1983; Harvard University School of Law, J.D., 1986; Columbia University, M.Phil., 1995, Ph.D., 1999. Politics: Democrat.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Bronx, NY. Office—John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, 619 W. 54th St., New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Attorney and academic. Admitted to the State Bar of North Carolina and California. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Elizabeth City, law clerk to the honorable Terrence Boyle, 1986-87; Titchell, Maltzman (law firm), San Francisco, CA, associate attorney, 1987-88; Maupin, Taylor, Ellis & Adams, Raleigh, NC, associate attorney, 1988-1991; Columbia University, New York, NY, researcher and instructor in composition, 1991-2001; City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY, professor, 1997—.

MEMBER:

Modern Language Association, Melville Society, Louisa May Alcott Society, Princeton Club of New York, Phi Beta Kappa.

WRITINGS:

Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to journals, including the Harvard Theological Review, Architectural Record, CrossCurrents, New England Quarterly, and Streams of William James.

SIDELIGHTS:

John Matteson is an attorney, writer, and educator with a broad education, having earned his undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University, his doctorate in English from Columbia University, and a law degree from the Harvard University School of Law. Matteson was admitted to the Bar in both California and North Carolina, and over the course of his career has practiced law in both of those states. He started out serving as a clerk for the Honorable Terrence Boyle at the U.S. District Court in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and then later worked as a litigation attorney for Maupin, Taylor, Ellis & Adams, in Raleigh, North Carolina, and for Titchell, Maltzman in San Francisco, California. As an educator, he has taught composition at Columbia University, and served as a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City starting in 1997, teaching both literature and legal writing. Matteson has contributed articles to a number of periodicals, including the Harvard Theological Review, Architectural Record, CrossCurrents, New England Quarterly, and Streams of William James. His first book, Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, was published by W.W. Norton in 2007.

In Eden's Outcasts, Matteson recounts the true story of the beloved writer Louisa May Alcott, whose novel Little Women has entertained young girls for generations, and her relationship with her father, Bronson Alcott. Bronson Alcott had many revolutionary ideas regarding the rearing of children and how to bring out the genius in one's offspring. He kept copious notes regarding his opinions on how he could best educate his daughter from their earliest days. However, Louisa May proved a stubborn personality bent on making her own way, and father and daughter often disagreed over the course of their lives. Bronson attempted to mold her personality to his liking and Louisa May formed her own strong opinions and stood her ground, ultimately becoming a major source of income for her impoverished family thanks to her dedication to her writing. Matteson offers readers a look into the daily lives of these two colorful figures in America's cultural history. Donna Seaman, in a review of the work for Booklist, commented that "Matteson's lucid, commanding biography casts new light on an unusual father-daughter bond and a new land at war with itself." Library Journal contributor Kathryn R. Bartlet found the book "allows readers to glimpse both the minds of these two literary figures and the times in which they lived."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2007, Donna Seaman, review of Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, p. 25.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2007, review of Eden's Outcasts.

Library Journal, July 1, 2007, Kathryn R. Bartelt, review of Eden's Outcasts, p. 93.

Publishers Weekly, June 11, 2007, review of Eden's Outcasts, p. 52.

ONLINE

John Jay College of Criminal Justice Web site,http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/ (February 16, 2008), faculty profile.

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