“What the Day's Work Means to Me” Zona Gale's Municipal Housekeepers and the Revolt from Friendship Village
In what might be called the dark ages in America . . . when everything seemed particularly lost and dumb and blind, then you and other far prophets began to see and speak, and call out over the land. Especially to the young was this marvelous for we had thought that there was no voice in the wilderness at all. And you began to write sensitively and beautifully about the small town. . . . You are one of the early prophets of America.
—Meridel LeSueur to Zona Gale, 1926
The special privilege of creative work is that this work is essentially social from the beginning.... From this truth the creative worker can't get away by any babble about “art for art's sake.” He can't help himself. If he does his work truly, he has done a social act.
—Zona Gale, “What the Day's Work Means to Me”
In 1927, an aspiring author from Laramie, Wyoming, named Jeanne Renee Chez wrote a letter to Zona Gale asking for advice. Gale fre