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I Stand Here Ironing

I Stand Here Ironing


by Tillie Olsen

Emily Timeline and Summary

  • When Emily is born, her mother is only nineteen. Shortly thereafter, the father abandons them.
  • Emily is in the care of babysitters and family members while her mother seeks work.
  • At the age of two, Emily returns from her father's family's house to live with her mother again.
  • A few years later, Emily catches the red measles. Her mother and her new stepfather send her to a convalescent home for eight months.
  • As Emily grows up, she helps her mother care for the other children.
  • In high school Emily's talent for comedy is discovered and she performs at high schools, colleges, and many different venues in different cities across the state.