Monday, 19 April 2010

Tell me a riddle (Olsen) 38

Tell me a riddle is a slim volume bringing together four short stories by Tillie Olsen. I had not encountered Olsen before - she comes from Nebraska and this collection was first published in the 1960s. Tell me a riddle, the title story, won the O Henry prize in 1961 for the best American short story. It tells the story of an elderly couple whose relationship has broken down who decide to take one last trip together after finding out that she is about to die. During the trip they manage to rekindle their original love. It has apparently been filmed and I think that it would make a beautiful film.

The other stories included I stand here ironing, O yes, and What sailor what ship. My favourite was I stand here ironing, a deeply moving account of a mother's estrangement from her daughter.

I was intrigued when I looked on librarything at the covers uploaded for this title, I could only find pictures of an edition which also includes Yonnondio. My cover is actually completely different! When I referred back to my Virago masterlist, I found that this edition has been produced as VMC number 363, incorporating numbers 38 (my edition of Tell me a riddle) and 39 (the separate edition of Yonnodio). But here are the pictures of the joint edition.

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled upon Tillie Olsen's story, I Stand Here Ironing, in an anthology last year and loved it! Have been meaning to read Tell Me A Riddle ever since.