Anne Fernald, who blogs at the wonderful Fernham, and who I'll be interviewing soon in her capacity as the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader, writes:

Tillie Olsen, a leftist, feminist novelist who was targeted by McCarthy-era smear-tactics and wrote, too, of the struggles of writing while also working and raising children died two weeks shy of her 95th birthday.

Her granddaughter commented on my blog and let me know about a really great tribute planned for this Saturday:

"the family requests that on her birthday, January 14th, people whose lives have been touched by Tillie gather with friends in their homes and public libraries to celebrate her life and to read her work together. We would be comforted to hear from you about your celebrations. Please email us:"

It would be wonderful if people from the feminist blogging and litblogging community could take a few hours out, on this upcoming Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend, to her.

You can visit the family's memorial site here:

I would really be excited to think that we all could re-read (or read) I Stand Here Ironing or some other great story and inform the family about it.

Readers Comments

  1. Tillie Olsen's family would like to let people in the San Francisco Bay Area know about her memorial celebration.

    Please circulate this information widely -- the family is trying to get this information out to all those who might be interested.

    Tillie Lerner Olsen
    Author, Feminist, Activist
    January 14, 1912 - January 1, 2007

    Join family, friends, and readers for a Memorial Celebration of Tillie Olsen's Life

    Saturday, February 17, 2007

    First Congregational Church of Oakland

    2501 Harrison Street (corner of 25th and Harrison)
    Oakland, CA

    1:00 celebration followed by reception.

    Parking on site. The church is 8 blocks from the 19th Street BART Station.


    Please share this information with others you know who cared about and
    were affected by Tillie's writing, teaching, speaking, or friendship.

    Also, you can visit for more information about her life and work.

    Many thanks, and hope to see many of you there...

    Ericka Lutz
    (Tillie's granddaughter)

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