Read Tell Me a Riddle, Requa I, and Other Works by Tillie Olsen Free Online
Book Title: Tell Me a Riddle, Requa I, and Other Works|
The author of the book: Tillie Olsen
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Reader ratings: 4.6
Edition: Bison Books
Date of issue: September 1st 2013
ISBN 13: 9780803245778
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 829 KB
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A century after her birth, Tillie Olsen’s writing is as relevant as when it first appeared; indeed, the clarity and passion of her vision and style have, if anything, become even more striking over time. Collected here for the first time are several of Olsen’s nonfiction pieces about the 1930s, early journalism pieces, and short fiction, including the four beautifully crafted, highly celebrated stories originally published as Tell Me a Riddle: “I Stand Here Ironing,” “Hey Sailor, What Ship?,” “O Yes,” and “Tell Me a Riddle.” Also included, for the first time since it appeared in the 1971 Best American Short Stories, is “Requa I.”
In these stories, as in all of her work, Olsen set a new standard for the treatment of women and the poor and for the depiction of their lives and circumstances. In her hands, the hard truths about motherhood and marriage, domestic life, labor, and political conviction found expression in language of such poetic intensity and depth that their influence continues to be felt today.
An introduction by Olsen’s granddaughter, the poet Rebekah Edwards, and a foreword by her daughter Laurie Olsen provide a personal and generational context for the author’s work.
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Read information about the authorTillie Lerner Olsen (January 14, 1912 – January 1, 2007) was an American writer associated with the political turmoil of the 1930s and the first generation of American feminists.
Though she published little, Olsen was very influential for her treatment of the lives of women and the poor. She drew attention to why women have been less likely to be published authors (and why they receive less attention than male authors when they do publish). Her work received recognition in the years of much feminist political and social activity. It contributed to new possibilities for women writers. Olsen's influence on American feminist fiction has caused some critics to be frustrated at simplistic feminist interpretations of her work. In particular, several critics have pointed to Olsen's Communist past as contributing to her thought. Olsen's fiction awards, and the ongoing attention to her work, is often focused upon her unique use of language and story form, a form close to poetry in compression and clarity, as well as upon the content.
Reviewing Olsen's life in The New York Times Book Review, Margaret Atwood attributed Olsen’s relatively small output to her full life as a wife and mother, a “grueling obstacle course” experienced by many writers. Her book Silences “ begins with an account, first drafted in 1962, of her own long, circumstantially enforced silence,” Atwood wrote. “She did not write for a very simple reason: A day has 24 hours. For 20 years she had no time, no energy and none of the money that would have bought both.”
In 1968, Olsen signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.
Once her books were published, Olsen became a teacher and writer-in-residence at numerous colleges, such as Amherst College, Stanford University, MIT, and Kenyon College. She was the recipient of nine honorary degrees, National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Also among the honors bestowed upon Olsen was the Rea Award for the Short Story, in 1994, for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in the field of short story writing.
Olsen died on January 1, 2007, in Oakland, California.
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