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Ask The Puma Research Guides: I Stand Here Ironing

Quick start research guides to hundreds of assignments given at Valencia East Campus.


I Stand Here Ironing


Published in 1956 in Tillie Olsen’s Tell Me a Riddle collection, “I Stand Here Ironing” is probably Olsen’s most famous short story.  The story is written as a monologue by an unnamed mother as she reflects on the toll that poverty and abandonment must have taken on the childhood of her nineteen-year old daughter Emily.  It portrays the difficulties faced by young mothers as they try to bring up children by themselves.



Call Numbers for Browsing the Shelves


  • PS3565 .L82
  • PS228 .R34



Circulating Books – A Selected List


  • Frye, Joanne S.  Tillie Olsen: A Study of the Short Fiction.  1995.

                     Call Number: PS3565 .L82 Z65 1995

  • Coiner, Constance.  Better Red: The Writing and Resistance of Tillie Olsen and Meridel Le Sueur. 1998.

                    Call Number: PS3565 .L82 Z613 1998

  • Faulkner, Mara. Protest and Possibility in the Writing of Tillie Olsen. 1993.   

                  Call Number: PS3565 .L82 Z64 1993

  • Olsen, Tillie. Tell Me a Riddle. 1994.

                   Call Number: PS3565 .L82 T45 1994

  •  Pearlman, Mickey and Abby Werlock. Tillie Olsen. 1991.

                     Call Number: PS3565 .L82 Z84 1991

  • Roberts, Nora Ruth. Three Radical Women Writers: Class and Gender in Meridel Le Sueur, Tillie Olsen, and Josephine Herbst. 1996.

                   Call Number: PS228 .R34 R63 1996



LINCCWeb online catalog – Search Terms


  • I Stand Here Ironing (Keyword)
  • Olsen, Tillie (Subject)



Reference Materials


  • Contemporary Literary CriticismCall Number: REF PN771 .C59

o     Vol. 13, pg. 432

o   Vol. 114, pgs.  192-223, 231-245

  • Critical Survey of Short Fiction (2nd Rev. Ed.) - Call Number: REF PN3321 .C7 2001

o   Vol. 5, pg. 1845

  • Short Story Criticism –  Call Number: REF PN3321 .S5

o     Vol. 11, pgs. 163-164, 166, 171, 177-80, 188, 190, 192-93, 195, 197

o   Vol. 103, pgs. 103, 144, 146, 149, 151-53, 160, 190, 195-97, 203-08, 216-16, 225-26, 235-35, 240, 243, 256

  • Short Stories for StudentsCall Number: REF PN3330 .S386

o   Vol. 1, pgs. 94-107



Research Databases

To access Valencia’s research databases, open your Atlas account, select ‘Search the Library’, then select ‘Databases A-Z’.

  • Academic Search Complete
  • Literature Resources from Gale



This Research Guide is designed to help users find information on a particular topic within the Valencia College East Campus Library.  This is by no means a comprehensive list of resources and other resources may be available on this topic.  Please check LINCCWeb, Valencia East’s online catalog, to verify the availability of circulating books within the library.  Feel free to ask a librarian for help if you need further assistance.

Valencia College East Campus Library

Last Revised on November 21, 2021


Subject Guide

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Erich Heintzelman
Valencia College - East Campus
701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail
Office: Building 4-217
Phone: 407-582-2886
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