(New York): Delta, circa 1974. Octavo, original blue paper wrappers. Address label of Tillie Olsen affixed to verso of front wrapper. Presentation inscription from Tillie Olsen to Annie Dillard on verso of front wrapper, ownership inscription of Annie Dillard ("Annie Dillard / please return") on half-title. Wrappers creased, light edgewear, bottom half-inch of spine missing. Housed in a custom slipcase.
Paperback reprint of Tillie Olsen's great collection, first published in 1961, inscribed by Olsen to fellow writer Annie Dillard. Each of the four stories -- “I Stand Here Ironing" (1956), “Hey Sailor, What Ship?" (1957), “O Yes" (1957), and “Tell Me A Riddle" (1960) -- were featured in Best American Short Stories, and “Tell Me A Riddle" won the O. Henry Prize for 1961. Although the book fell out of print, it became a touchstone for a generation of American writers inspired by Olsen's attention to the interior lives of working people, especially women: “never a direct protest, never rebellion. I think of our others in their three-, four-year-oldness -- the explosions, the tempers, the denunciations, the demands -- and I feel suddenly ill. I put the iron down. What in me demanded that goodness in her? And what was the cost, the cost to her of such goodness?" This copy is warmly inscribed in Olsen's characteristic microscript: “For Annie Dillard -- / In kinship -- and in love for your work. / Tillie Olsen / June, 1974." That year, Dillard published her first two books: the poetry collection Tickets for a Prayer Wheel, and the personal narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, which won the Pulitzer Prize. A wonderful association copy, linking two original and influential American writers.