Episode 192: I Stand Here Ironing (by Tillie Olsen)

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.

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