Thirty years ago, in a lecture at the Radcliffe Institute, Tillie Olsen first addressed the problem of silences in literature--paving the way for future explorations of the subject, including her landmark work, Silences. The subject of silences and silencing--as fact, as trope, as lens throughwhich to understand literary history--has been central to feminist criticism ever since. In Listening to Silences, a group of distinguished feminist literary critics reevaluates Olsen's heritage to reassert, extend, redefine, and question her insights, and to probe the dynamics of silence and silencing as they operate today in literature, criticism, and the academy. The book tracesfor the first time the genealogy of an important American critical tradition, one that still influences contemporary debates about feminism, multiculturalism, and the literary canon. Contributors to Listening to Silences include Kate Adams, Norma Alarcon, Joanne Braxton, Sharon Zuber, King-Kok Cheung, Constance Coiner, Robin Dizard, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Diana Hume George, Elaine Hedges, Carla Kaplan, Patricia Laurence, Rebecca Mark, Diane Middlebrook, Carla L. Peterson,Lillian Robinson, Deborah Silverton Rosenfelt, Judith L. Sensibar, and Judith Bryant Wittenberg.