Tillie Olson's Reading List

In Silences, Tillie Olson lists a bunch of books by women writers, many of whom I hadn't heard of before. I decided to make a project of reading the whole list, starting with Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook and, with Jane, the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (which I had read before, many times, in my childhood). I'm going to blog about this reading now and then, and I've created a rather prosaic tag to keep track of those entries. The point, originally at least, was to read with an eye toward figuring out just what causes periods of silence (sometimes prolonged, sometimes permanent) in women writers especially. But I think I already know the answer -- childrearing, domestic responsibilities. There is more to it, though. I'm interested in articulating this "more" and fleshing it out, putting words and images to this vague feeling of foreboding that I have when it comes to sitting down with my own writing, especially lately. The other point is to expose Jane to these writers as early and often as possible, to normalize (if not erase?) the category of "woman writer," & eliminate the residual peculiarity that's still associated with it. My thoughts on this subject are irritatingly vague and unformed, though. All I can say is, bear with me. Maybe all this reading will change that somehow.