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Fanny by Edmund White
Fanny by Edmund White tells the stories of two historical women nicknamed Fanny. Fanny Trollope led a tedious, conservative life with an ill and neglectful husband. Fanny Wright was a fiery redhead, feminist, and abolitionist. When they met in the early 1820s, Fanny Trollope was immediately captivated by the other Fanny. In 1827, Fanny Wright decided to create a utopian community near Memphis to help free slaves, and Fanny Trollope and some of her children went with her. The community became an abject failure and the two women had a falling out. Edmund White tells the story as Fanny Trollope writing the biography of Fanny Wright, and unwittingly telling her own story in the process. Fanny has received mostly positive reviews, not just for the fictionalized account of two important women's lives, but for its rendering of life in the 19th century on both sides of the Atlantic. The Rocky Mountain News says, "Fanny is wonderful historical fiction - intelligent and lively, moving and skillfully told."