Yonnondio : From the Thirties

ISBN-10: 0385291795

ISBN-13: 9780385291798

Edition: N/A

Authors: Tillie Olsen

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Description:

Pillars of American literature, these two newly repackaged titles have been loved and admired by readers for decades.  Set during the Depression, Yonnondio : From The Thirties is the timeless and hauntingly timely story of the Holbrook family, struggling for a more tolerable existence.  Written by the author in the 1930s and rediscovered by her in the 1970s, Yonnondio will always be an unfinished work that makes us long for more of that young author's brilliance.  This reissue presents newly discovered fragments and scenes that satisfy some of that longing and give a more complete picture of the fate of the mother, Anna, one of literature's most believable and enduring woman. Tell Me A Riddle is a collection of four stories: "I Stand Here Ironing," "Hey Sailor, What Ship?," "O Yes," and the title novella, which won the O. Henry Award in 1961.  Anthologized over a hundred times, the stories live on in the hearts of readers everywhere.  John Leonard provides a new introduction that is a personal reminiscence as well as reaffirmation of Olsen's place in American literature's pantheon of great writers.
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Book details

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/1/1989
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 160
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.330
Language: English

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Tillie Olsen received only a high school education. But because of her success as a writer, she has served as a visiting lecturer and writer-in-residence at a number of colleges, including Amherst College, Stanford University, and MIT. She has received numerous awards for her work, including an O. Henry Award for best American short story (1961) and a Guggenheim fellowship (1976-77). The widely anthologized "I Stand Here Ironing" (1961), in the circumstances of its publication and its voice and subject, embodies the concerns of Olsen's literary career. In this monologue of a woman reviewing her relationship to her 19-year-old daughter, Olsen suggests the themes of the blighted potential and wasted talent of working-class women that have preoccupied her throughout her career. As she irons, the woman mournfully meditates on how she may have prevented her daughter's full "flowering" - a flowering that she herself has never had. Most intensely recalled is how she had to leave her infant daughter to go to work after her husband abandoned them. A mother herself by age 19, Olsen did not publish her first work until she was in her forties (though she began to write in her teens) when the pressures of supporting herself and her four children lessened and she felt she had written something worthy of publication. At times considered unrelenting in the despair that she attributes to her characters, Olsen's style is marked by a rhythmic, hypnotic lyricism and an evocative use of language. Olsen later published an introductory essay to the reprint of Rebecca Harding Davis's nineteenth-century novel, Life in the Iron Mills. In Silences (1978), a collection of essays, she addresses directly the various cultural, political, and economic forces that silence women writers and writers from working-class or minority backgrounds.

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