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Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories 2nd Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0935312393
ISBN-10: 0935312390
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"You must read this book and let your heart be broken."
The New York Times Book Review

"One of the earliest recognitions in American literature of the existence of the very poor."
National Observer

"Life in the Iron Mills has been described as the 'Uncle Tom's Cabin of American capitalism,' a work which first acknowledged the dignity and intelligence of working people. . . . It's an American classic that foreshadowed the naturalist technique of later nineteenth-century writers."
San Francisco Chronicle

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 has 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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY; 2nd edition (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935312390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935312393
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read Life in the Iron Mills for a graduate English course on social-class-imagery in 18th & 19th cen Transatlantic (British and American) literature with Elisabeth Ceppi at Portland State. Ceppi asked us to read closely for the rhetoric of class attributes. There was much class-identifying-imagery to observe in Harding-Davis' 1860's rendering of the lives of impoverished Welsh miners transported into late-slave-era iron foundries of the American North. Mid-19th-cen feminist literature of this social-reform type is deeply informed by Protestant missionary enthusiasm to transform everyone into clean-living bourgeois church-goers. Thus Harding-Davis uses powerful polarities of dirt for workers, clean for bouregoisie, etc. It's so blunt and obvious that she could be accused of writing soap-opera ... as many of her mid-1800's female-writer colleagues were accused, sometimes justly. However her scenes of poverty, disease, and death in the mills are so heart-wrenching that her motives are clearly pure. Now that Tillie Olsen has rescued Harding-Davis' wonderful writing from obscurity, she is good to read for knowledge of American feminist writing history, for understanding of American class polarities in the ante-bellum era, and also for a true, scary story of life with the great unwashed.
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I ordered this book for an environmental literature class, and have only read "Life in the Iron Mills." The short story was quite depressing, but very good. It left me thinking about it for days after I finished it. This is one of the best stories I have ever read. I loved that this story sends a message that even in the most grimy surroundings one can find beauty. A great read.
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Davis's account of the harsh conditions of working class life in the 19th century is incredibly compelling. She provides a fascinating window into the lives on her characters while examining gender, class, power, and the value of a human life.
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Thank you so much!!
the item that i ordered has come in a really nice condition
that i expected.
thanks again.
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