Better Red: The Writing and Resistance of Tillie Olsen and Meridel Le Sueur

Hardcover | May 1, 1970

byConstance Coiner

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Better Red is an interdisciplinary study addressing the complicated intersection of American feminism and the political left as refracted in Tillie Olsen's and Meridel Le Sueur's lives and literary texts. The first book-length study to explore these feminist writers' ties to the AmericanCommunist Party, it contributes to a reenvisioning of 1930s U.S. Communism as well as to efforts to promote working-class writing as a legitimate category of literary analysis. At once loyal members of the male-dominated Communist party and emerging feminists, Olsen and Le Sueur exhibit in theirwriting tendencies both toward and away from Party tenets and attitudes--at points subverting formalist as well as orthodox Marxist literary categories. By producing working-class discourse, Olsen and Le Sueur challenge the bourgeois assumptions--often masked as classless and universal--of muchcanonical literature; and by creating working-class women's writing, they problematize the patriarchal nature of the Left and the masculinist assumptions of much proletarian literature, anticipating the concerns of "second wave" feminists a generation later.

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From the Publisher

Better Red is an interdisciplinary study addressing the complicated intersection of American feminism and the political left as refracted in Tillie Olsen's and Meridel Le Sueur's lives and literary texts. The first book-length study to explore these feminist writers' ties to the AmericanCommunist Party, it contributes to a reenvisionin...

Constance Coiner is at State University of New York at Binghamton.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.57 × 6.38 × 1.1 inPublished:May 1, 1970Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195056957

ISBN - 13:9780195056952

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"Better Red demonstrates that [Coiner] is, indeed, a theoretical whiz....[an] incredibly rich portrait...of two legendary left-wing female writers."--The Journal of American History