Folly tells the story of women without men, divorced or widowed or lesbian, workers in a textile plant in North Carolina in the 1970s, who are neighbors in a trailer camp, along with their aging mothers and teenage daughters. What brings them together-black women as well as white women-is the death of a sick baby left necessarily at home alone because there were no health care provisions in the male owned and run factory. After the baby's death, the women decide to strike. The novel records the winning of that strike, and, at the same time, the inner lives of the younger and older characters surrounding the majoy strike leaders. It is an optimistic, witty, and dramatic book, rare in that it depicts black and white women working as peers together, and rare in that it depicts a world not often to be found in literature.
"Folly speaks with an authenticity, a force, a caring that deepens and enlarges us."--Tillie Olsen, author of Tell Me A Riddle "What a delight it is to have Folly back in print! Maureen Brady is one of our most original voices. Folly is riveting and inspirational, a heartwarming testimonial to what a few good women can do to make the world less racist, homophobic, and oppressive to women workers. The only true 'folly' is that this fine novel has been unavailable for so long. The new afterword by Bonnie Zimmerman is an excellent addition, which succinctly places the work in both a historical and literary context."--Karla Jay, co-editor of Lesbian Text and Contexts: Radical Revisions "In this novel about work and passion Maureen Brady shows us the pride that has helped women survive a society which devalues both women and labor. Economic circumstance can't douse the spark that lights each of her characters' lives. The women bond together for strength, for a better life and for love."--Jewelle Gomez, author of The Gilda Stories