Interview with poet and author Tillie Olsen on her book, Silences, produced by Kathy Ann Kersey. The interview begins with Olsen speaking about her book and the circumstances for women writers. She asserts how much class impacts the life of writers. Her book, Silences describes those writers who are recognizable and those who are unknown. The interviewer (whose name is not known) presents questions about the recent Writer's Congress and how she came to this theme. Olsen describes how she arrived at the theme out of her own life. She herself had four children and was the sole provider for her family. She tells how she believes a writer's achievements are more often about circumstance rather than their gift as a writer. She argued with the Writers Congress' assertion that there is no working class literature because there is no working class intelligentsia. Olsen speaks about her own childhood and how writers often accept the interpretation of others instead of their own experience. She describes the agony of being a part-time writer and how the writer is then fragmented.
This recording has been digitally preserved as part of Pacifica's American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982 grant preservation project, and is available for research and reference . Please contact the archives via telephone: 818-506-1077 or email: americanwomen at pacificaradioarchives dot org for information on how to obtain a copy of this program. Thank you.