A.O. Scott, The Times’s co-chief film critic, returns to the Book Review’s podcast this week to discuss the work of Tillie Olsen, the latest subject in his essay series The Americans, about writers who give a sense of the country’s complex identity. Olsen, who died in 2007 at 94, was known best as the author of “Tell Me a Riddle,” a collection of three short stories and a novella published in 1961. She also wrote rigorous depictions of working-class families, conveying the costs of living for burdened mothers, wives and daughters.“I think people should read her now for a few different reasons,” Scott says. “I was really drawn to this idea of the difficulty of writing, and the ways that our other responsibilities and the fatigue of living can make it hard to write. I think I related to this very much in this year. One of the themes in her stories is tiredness, is just the physical and mental fatigue of being alive and how hard that can make it to create anything.”Wendy Lower visits the podcast to discuss “The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed.” In the book, Lower, a historian of the Holocaust, considers a photograph taken in October 1941 that shows several men shooting a woman who holds the hand of a small boy.“Most people think that we know all there is to know about the Holocaust,” Lower says, “and this is an important example of how these records are just being declassified now from various countries that were involved in the Holocaust or occupied by the Nazis.”Also on this week’s episode, Tina Jordan looks back at Book Review history during this year of its 125th anniversary; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Parul Sehgal and Jennifer Szalai talk about books they’ve recently reviewed. Pamela Paul is the host.Here are the books discussed by The Times’s critics this week:“100 Boyfriends” by Brontez Purnell“Until Justice Be Done” by Kate Masur
In this episode, we discuss “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen. What can we learn from this timeless story? How can a situation drive a story? What does the structure of the story provide for the overall effect? What does that structure require, and how can we apply those necessities to other stories? How important is narrative movement to a story? If you enjoy this episode, consider subscribing to our newsletter at http://www.napleswritersworkshop.com For daily writing tips, industry news, and great short fiction, join our Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/napleswritersworkshop
In which I am extremely drunk on Citadelle Gin but make a feminist podcats to tell Tillie Olsen's story anyway. I am drunkenly hopeful that Jimmy Olsen of 'Superman' fame was named after her. I know it's stupid, but I want to believe in her because she helped me believe in my own voice and myself. I can think of no better snapshot-reporter of her time than Tillie Olsen.
Episode Sixteen: "Incredible Endings and Mother-Daughter Relationships" with Tillie Olsen, Jamaica Kincaid, and Huda Al-Marashi
The Chills at Will Podcast
SHOW NOTES: On Episode 16, Pete discusses “Incredible Endings and Mother-Daughter Relationships,” as seen in writing by Tillie Olsen, Jamaica Kincaid, and Huda Al-Marashi. In “As I Stand Here Ironing,” Olsen leaves us with an incredibly apt image wholly representative of the protagonist’s hopes for her daughter. In her short story, “Girl,” Kincaid’s protagonist asks a probing question of both her daughter and the reader in a way that leaves the reader pondering it for a long while after taking her gaze off the page. Al-Marashi’s final paragraph is a sort of promise to, and a prayer for, her daughter. Her work is nonfiction, which is a nice addition to the podcast. I actually read a lot more nonfiction than you might think from listening to this podcast, and Al-Marashi’s shining work is a perfect fit for this episode. Like, share, and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify. You can follow Pete on Instagram, where he’s @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where he’s @chillsatwillpo1. This is a passion project, a DIY operation, and Pete would love for your help in promoting a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form. You can find the literature referenced today in Tillie Olsen’s 1961 Tell Me a Riddle collection, published by New World Writing. Both Olsen’s “As I Stand Here Ironing” and Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” are widely anthologized. Kincaid’s story was published in the collection At the Bottom of the River, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Huda Al-Marashi’s “A Birthday at the Cemetery” was published in the August 7, 2020, edition of The New York Times. The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other cool song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental Version”) by Matt Weidauer, used through Arches Audio. Matt’s artist page can be found here. Authors Mentioned and Allusions and Songs Referenced During the Episode: Tillie Olsen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tillie_Olsen Margaret Atwood Speaks of Olsen’s Hectic Life: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/03/books/03olsen.html Jamaica Kincaid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica_Kincaid Huda Al-Marashi’s Amazon.com Page: https://www.amazon.com/Books-Huda-Al-Marashi/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3AHuda+Al-Marashi Huda Al-Marashi’s “A Birthday at the Cemetery”: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/07/well/family/a-birthday-at-the-cemetery.html Saudade Description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudade
Episode 192: I Stand Here Ironing (by Tillie Olsen)
The Easy Chair with Laura Hurwitz
This week on The Easy Chair, I am reading Tillie Olsen’s beautifully poignant short story “I Stand Here Ironing”. I am endlessly grateful that I got to hear Tillie Olsen speak at a writing conference in 1981; her wisdom, creativity, and steel tenacity were tangible, even in a vast, crowded auditorium, and deeply influenced me. I don’t think there’s another writer who so movingly and accurately portrays the limitations and sacrifice of traditional 1950s domestic life, what it meant to be a wife and mother while holding out the hope for something different, something better for our daughters and the generations of women to follow. I have loved Tillie Olsen and this particular story for a very long time and I am really, really happy to be able to share it with you. Please tune in. It’s a story that you'll never forget.Any questions, comments, suggestions- pretty please send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
#77: Maggie Doherty on Mary McCarthy, Tillie Olsen, and the Work of Writing
Beyond Aporia, A Common Ground Podcast
This week, we hear from Maggie Doherty, a critic and teacher at Harvard University. Maggie writes often for publications such as The Nation, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and N Plus One; her criticism often focuses on writers and feminists around the middle of the 20th century—familiar names are Mary McCarthy and Kate Millet. Maggie’s literary criticism blends questions of politics into her writing; she manages to marry the literary and the political in her writing in a careful and very helpful way. In our conversation, I ask Maggie about her recent articles on Mary McCArthy and Kate Millet, as well as a book she’s working on. The book is titled The Equivalents, and it’s about a group of five women writers and artists who met at the Radcliffe Institute in the early 1960s. We talk particularly about one such Radcliffe writer, Tillie Olsen, and the insights she advanced into the ways writing is really work: that is, is labor. We talk about writing as work, and the economic situation—that’s to say economic contingency and precariousness—that writers and academics face today.
Radical Writer Tillie Olsen Gave Her Grandson Text Fragments. He Made Music From Them.
Writer Tillie Olsen died in 2007, at age 94. During her life, she worked at many jobs—as a union organizer, waitress, hotel maid, and factory worker, among others—and, with her husband, raised four daughters. That didn’t leave a lot of time to write. But once Olsen got to it, publishing her first story at the age of 43—she made a name for herself, writing elliptical, realist short stories and often angry essays taking on the plight of working people, social injustice, and the many ways that creativity is stifled. Several years before she died, Olsen recruited her grandson Jesse Olsen Bay to help her move out of her San... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Writing for Keeps: The Life and Legacy of Tillie Olsen
The 7th Avenue Project
Tillie Olsen didn't publish much, but her work has had an outsize impact. Her stories were instant classics and part of the great democratization of 20th-century American lit. The fact that they were painstakingly written while working menial jobs, raising four kids and campaigning tirelessly for human rights added to her legend. With the recent publication of some of her previously out-of-print works, I talked with teacher/writer Julie Olsen Edwards and poet/teacher Rebekah Edwards – Tillie's daughter and granddaughter, respectively – about her life, writing and legacy.