Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Tillie Olsen became a regularly practicing writer only in her forties. What factors account for this delay?

What unusual demands does Olsen make on readers?

What is the significance of the title of Olsen’s story “I Stand Here Ironing”?

In “Tell Me a Riddle,” how does the riddle symbolize Eva’s life and relationships?

What structural principles unify Olsen’s book Silences?

To what causes other than feminism has Olsen contributed?