Author Tillie Olsen dies at 94

Jan. 4, 2007 at 7:49 PM

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Author Tillie Olsen, who inspired a generation of female writers, has died in Oakland, Calif., at 94.

Olsen published a relatively miniscule body of work over seven decades, but her story, "Tell Me a Riddle," is considered a classic.

The 1961 story won the O. Henry Award and recounted the final reconciliation of a battling married couple on the brink of the wife's death.

"She's a writer's writer," Feminist Press founder Florence Howe told the Los Angeles Times. "Everyone mourns that there isn't another volume like 'Tell Me a Riddle.'"

Her unfinished novel "Yonnondio: From the Thirties," was published in 1974 and is considered a classic work on the Great Depression.

Olsen died in her longtime home of Oakland after experiencing declining health, the Times said.

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