Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) was an American novelist, short-story writer and poet. Her first short-story collection was published in 1854. Alcott served as a nurse in a Union hospital during the Civil War in 1861, during which she contracted typhoid fever. Her experience in the hospital as a patient and a nurse inspired her first novel Hospital Sketches. She is better known as the author of the novel Little Women (1868) and its sequels Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886).