Better Red

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

3.85 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 American Communist 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 their writing 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 much canonical 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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 162.1 x 243.3 x 25.7mm | 711.64g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 16 pp halftones
  • 0195056957
  • 9780195056952

Back cover copy

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 American Communist Party, it contributes to a re-envisioning 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 move both toward and away from Party tenets and attitudes - subverting through their writing formalist as well as orthodox Marxist literary categories. Olsen and Le Sueur challenge the bourgeois assumptions - often masked as classless and universal - of much canonical 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.show more

Review quote

Olsen and Le Sueur have not faltered in their determination to raise the voice of working class women. Nor have they ceased to encourage, work for, anticipate a just world. Better Red is a meticulous scrutiny of two exceedingly important creative and political lives. * Alice Walker *show more

Rating details

7 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 14% (1)
4 57% (4)
3 29% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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