Saturday, January 13, 2007
R.I.P. Tillie Olsen
Her book of linked short stories, Tell Me A Riddle, is an American classic. In his book, The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination, Robert Coles writes in great detail about how these stories touched so many of his students of all backgrounds, particularly women. Olsen's nonfiction book, Silences, dealt with her own inability to write as well as barriers to other writers who couldn't complete or publish their work, which include censorship and self-censorship. This book became especially valued by women writers. Olsen finally did publish some of the work that had caused her so much trouble, as Yonnodio: From the Thirties. She died on New Year's day in Oakland, CA, a couple of weeks shy of her 95th birthday.