The selections of criticism in this anthology reveal the social, cultural, and economic contexts of the writings of Tillie Olsen. The essays link Olsen with socialism, feminism, and the American literary tradition, and show the potential for activism cultivated in her early years. They reflect her concern with women and children, and explore her belief in the power of the written and spoken word. The volume also serves as a companion to other full-length studies of Olsen. Tillie Olsen grew up in a Socialist, secular Jewish immigrant working-class home in the American midwest, and became one of the most striking writers of the twentieth century. The selections of criticism in this anthology survey the reception of her work over the past sixty years and clarify the social, cultural, and economic contexts of her writings. The volume includes selections of the most important criticism of her work, along with original contributions. The essays in this book are grouped in three sections, which correspond with different stages in the development of Olsen's life and art. The selections demonstrate the potential for social activism cultivated in her upbringing, her development as a young writer in the mid-1930s California Marxian milieu, and her maturation after years of balancing the responsibilities of childrearing and employment outside the home. The pieces link her with traditional American literary figures, and relate her to socialist feminist literary tradition and the Jewish American tradition as well. An important introduction to her work, the volume is also a companion to other studies.
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 539 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 29 mm
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