Tillie Olsen Biography | Author of I Stand Here Ironing

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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 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 where she resumed her union activities and began writing 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 to the 1950s, when her youngest...

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This section contains 447 words
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Short Stories for Students
I Stand Here Ironing from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.