Congratulations to Paola Corso!
First Prize winner of the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing for The Laundress Catches Her Breath
This book is a precisely visionary evocation of working-class Pittsburgh and the struggles of working women, in particular. Paolo Corso’s laundress is a vivid, richly detailed character, hard-working, chainsmoking, grouchy and smart, memorably imperfect and entirely winning. The book is stylistically varied and ingenious as well. “Hold for Ten Seconds” is a sort of magical realist sequence that involves washing clothes—maybe the first since 100 Years of Solitude. And the long, astonishing “Heiress to Air” is brilliant, a moving tour de force that William Carlos Williams would certainly have loved.
Jeff Gundy, Bluffton University