Meridel Le Sueur

Meridel LeSueur (1900 – 1996) was born into a family of social and political activists. She was heavily influenced by poems and stories that she heard from Native American women. She dropped out of high school and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Art. She worked in Hollywood as an actress, stuntwoman, writer, and journalist. She wrote for progressive newspapers about unemployment, migrant workers, and the Native American fight for autonomy. Like other writers of the period, Le Sueur wrote about the struggles of the working class during the Great Depression. She published articles in “New Masses,” a left weekly magazine of political commentary, cultural criticism, and creative writing. Her best-known books are “North Star Country” (1945), a people’s history of Minnesota, and the novel “The Girl,” which was written in the 1930s but not published until 1978. In the 1950s, Le Sueur was blacklisted as a communist, but her reputation was revived in the 1970s when she was hailed as a feminist for her writings in support of women’s rights.