The Dover Thrift Edition of "Short Stories" by Louisa May Alcott contains 5 pieces: "Obtaining Supplies," "A Night," "My Contraband," "Happy Women," and "How I Went Out to Service." The book includes a brief introductory note on the life and career of Alcott.
The first two stories are from Alcott's "Hospital Sketches"; together with the third story, they deal with protagonists who work as nurses for Civil War soldiers. "My Contraband" has as a key theme the legacy of slavery. "Happy Women" is more of a sketch celebrating single women, and the final piece tells the "serio-comico experience" of a young woman who goes to work as a domestic companion.
I read this book shortly after reading Alcott's novel "The Inheritance," written when she was only 17; that simple but charming work makes for a fascinating contrast with the polished maturity of the pieces in this volume. Overall, this collection shows Alcott's wit, humor, compassion for humanity, attentive eye, and particular concern for women's issues. This short (55 + vii pages) book is a wonderful collection by one of the most remarkable figures in American literature.