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About the Author

Activist and author Tillie Olsen is best known for her prize-winning fiction Tell Me a Riddle and Yonnondio: From the Thirties. She taught at MIT, Stanford, and Amherst. Olsen is an recipient of an Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Literature from the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.


"What Tillie Olsen has to say . . . is of primary importance to those who want to understand how art is generated or subverted and to those trying to create it themselves." --New York Times Book Review

"Tillie Olsen helps those of us condemned to silence--the poor, the racial minorities, the women--find our voices." --Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Woman Warrior "[Silences is] 'the Bible.' I constantly return to it." --Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street "As much as I learned from Tell Me a Riddle, I learned even more from Tillie's landmark classic and original essay Silences: When Writers Don't Write, which I read while living in Cambridge in the early '70's, raising a small daughter alone and struggling to write myself." --Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple "Silences helped me to keep my sanity many a day." --Gloria Naylor, author of Mama Day "Silences will, like A Room of One's Own, be quoted where there is talk of the circumstances in which literature is possible." --Adrienne Rich, author of Diving into the Wreck

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