This first and only comprehensive collection of the literary achievement of Meridel Le Sueur includes her best and most representative fiction, reportage, and autobiography from every decade since the 1920s. The New York Times Book Review writes that this volume “inspires belief in the power of a writer—and a woman—to prevail against poverty, persecution and public neglect.”
"[This] handsomely illustrated comprehensive anthology reveals the full variety, scope and growth of [Le Sueur's] career. . . . Edited admirably by Elaine Hedges, Ripening inspires belief in the power of a writer—and a woman—to prevail against poverty, persecution and public neglect."
"This excellent sampler of work from her entire career shows how richly Le Sueur, who is best known for her proletarian writings of the 1930s, deserves wider recognition."
"Le Sueur is a feminist, a regional writer, a writer about both the pull of sexual desire and the harsh choices of life in the Depression; she is also a reporter who tells of strikes and daily privations. . . . When her stylistic and thematic elements are in balance, she is like no one else."
"What's truly impressive here is Le Sueur's journalism of the 1930s. . . . These vivid pieces . . . are urban literary corollaries to Dorothea Lange's unsparing yet abundantly piteous Farm Security Administration photos of the same era."
"I'm glad that Meridel Le Sueur began her life a few years before me so that I was able to read when young her wonderful stories about working people in the cities and towns in the Midwest. I am grateful to the women's movement and The Feminist Press that we can read her stories again."