Tell Me a Riddle

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For the film based on the novel, see Tell Me a Riddle (film).
Tell Me a Riddle
Author Tillie Olsen
Country United States
Language English
Genre short story
Media type Print (hardback, paperback)
Pages 116
OCLC 5096662

Tell Me a Riddle is a short story by Tillie Olsen, originally appearing in New World Writing in 1960 and subsequently published as the title story of a four story collection in 1961.


Tell Me a Riddle has been called "a powerful study of the politics of voice",[1] "an American Classic,[2] and described as "beautifully crafted and painfully real in the issues of family that it raises."[3] It received the 1961 O. Henry Award.[4]


A film of the same name, based on the collection, was released in 1980.[5]


  1. ^ "Tillie Olsen's "Tell Me a Riddle": The Dialetics of Silence". Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. University of Nebraska Press. 15 (2): 1–22. 1994. JSTOR 3346759. 
  2. ^ Oliver B. Pollak. "TILLIE OLSEN". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ Janice Willms (June 14, 2004). "Tell Me a Riddle". NYU Langone Medical Center. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ "The O. Henry Prize Stories Past Winners List". Random House LLC. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Tell Me a Riddle (1980)". Fandango Media. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 

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