Author Archive

Not Like One of the Family: Novels of Dignity and Domestic Labor

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The myth of Rosie the Riveter is as well-known as her bandana-clad hair and stoic flexing. As a way to supplement male industrial labor resources depleted by World War II, Rosie represented the potential for women economically left behind since the Great Depression to gain financial power over their

Meridel LeSueur and the Golden Age of Proletarian Writers

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Meridel LeSueur had a radical pedigree, living in an anarchist commune and writing about causes like migrant workers’ rights and Native American autonomy. Blacklisted during the McCarthy era, her novel The Girl became a seminal text for second-wave feminists. But why do few people read her today?

Virtue and Liberation: The Literary Battle for the Mind of the American Mill Girl

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Work, and the psychological impacts of work, are rarely represented in fiction, even though America has a rich literary history of labor narratives, particularly in the case of female writers, dating as far back as the mid-nineteenth century.