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Tillie Olsen Biography

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About the Author

Tillie Olsen was born in 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska, to Russian Jewish immigrants whose political activities had forced them to leave their homeland in 1905. During her childhood Olsen's father was the state secretary of the Socialist Party, and she likewise became politically active at an early age by joining the Young Communist League.

After high school she worked at menial jobs until she was jailed in Kansas City for attempting to organize packinghouse workers into a union.

By 1933 Olsen had moved to California and begun to write articles for left-wing publications. She had one daughter from her first marriage to a man who promptly abandoned his young family. In 1936 she married Jack Olsen and spent the next twenty years raising three daughters while working full-time as a factory worker and a secretary. Most of her short fiction dates from the 1950s, when her youngest child entered school and...

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This section contains 453 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our I Stand Here Ironing Study Guide
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I Stand Here Ironing from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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