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Tell Me a Riddle (Women Writers: Texts and Contexts)by Tillie Olsen
Synopses & Reviews
Tell Me a Riddle renders an unforgettable portrait of a working-class couple when the gender-determined differences in their experiences of poverty and familial life give rise to bitter conflict after almost four decades of marriage. As she dies of cancer, Eva, the protagonist, recollects a revolutionary past that both critiques and offers hope for the present.
Deborah Rosenfelt's introduction and the essays in this volume survey the critical reception of this highly acclaimed story, analyze its biographical and historical contexts, examine the text's language, structure, and spiritual and moral significance, and illuminate Olsen's relationship to the American Midwest, the American left, and the Jewish enlightenment tradition.
This casebook includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of Olsen's life, an authoritative text of Tell Me a Riddle, relevant essays by Olsen, seven critical essays, and a bibliography. The contributors are Joanne Trautmann Banks, Constance Coiner, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Mara Faulkner, Elaine Neil Orr, Linda Ray Pratt, and Deborah Silverton Rosenfelt.
"Like other women of the time, Olsen was underappreciated even in leftist circles, which suffered much the same gender bias as the larger society." Library Journal
This collection of four stories, "I Stand Here Ironing," "Hey Sailor, what Ship?," "O Yes," and "Tell me a Riddle," had become an American classic. Since the title novella won the O. Henry Award in 1961, the stories have been anthologized over a hundred times, made into three films, translated into thirteen languages, and - most important - once read, they abide in the hearts of their readers.
This casebook includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of Olsen's life, an authoritative text of "Tell Me a Riddle," relevant essays by Olsen, seven critical essays, and a bibliography. The contributors are: Joanne Trautmann Banks, Constance Coiner, Rachel Blau Duplessis, Mara Faulkner, Elaine Orr, Linda Ray Pratt, and Deborah Silverton Rosenfelt.
About the Author
Olsen was born in Nebraska in 1912 or 1913. Among the colleges where she has taught of been writer-in-residence are Amherst College, Stanford University, M.I.T., and Kenyon College.
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