Meet the writer Aimee Loiselle.
Aimee Loiselle, PhD, specializes in the modern U.S. as a hub for transnational labor and capital with an interest in working women, gender, race, class, and migration. Her research examines how popular culture obscures the complexities of global labor and makes racialized and gendered meanings for work and wealth. Her current project Creating Norma Rae: Cultural Contests over the American Working Class, 1970s-1980s (under contract with University of North Carolina Press) analyzes the 1979 movie Norma Rae in relation to southern and Puerto Rican women in the textile and garment industry, and their efforts to control representations of their work and labor organizing. The film’s image of a southern white mill hand also generated an icon that continues to appear in media 40 years later. In support of this research, Loiselle received the 2020 Lerner-Scott Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) and 2020 Catherine Prelinger Award from the Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH).
Aimee Loiselle, creative writer, often drinks green tea while she writes fiction. Please read her story “Three Women Wishing for a Boy” in The Broken Plate—buy a copy and support tiny literary journals and their determined writers. Her story “Souvenirs” appeared in the anthology American Fiction: The Best Previously Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Authors, Volume 11, from New Rivers Press. She’s also completed a novel manuscript titled Being Good About It (which was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize sponsored by Barbara Kingsolver, shortlisted for finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition, and a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award). She feels tremendous peace when digging in her garden or watching ants walk along a tree trunk.
Aimee Loiselle likes to cook when the weather is cool. She makes New England pot roast or curry chicken in coconut milk or meatloaf or chicken soup or couscous with cashews. She also lives with Clara, the standard poodle from a local shelter, and Loretta, the boxer mix from a rescue. Her right knee gets rather sore when she sits through a movie in the theater and she prefers a clean sink in the morning—two examples of some bizarre realities of midlife.
Aimee Loiselle traveled around the United States with her dog, Lucy, throughout the 1990s. Lucy was a shepherd mix of exceptional intelligence and companionship. After years together, Lucy lost functioning in her tail, her hips, and eventually her insides. For the first time in 16 years, Lucy went into an examining room at the veterinarian's office and quietly lay down. Aimee was the one who suddenly felt the urge to turn and run out the door. The next day, Aimee was not a girl with her dog but rather a weird single thirty-something woman.
Aimee Loiselle carries six canvas bags in the trunk of her car so she always has them for shopping. Her earliest memories of recycling include lugging bundles of newspapers and bags of glass bottles to the town’s public-works building, where the Boy Scouts tossed them into giant bins. Although Aimee also tries to walk or ride her bike for errands, she does love to get in a car and drive far far away. When she takes a road trip, she must pack enough date & nut bars to avoid hunger road rage.
Aimee Loiselle taught academic classes in an alternative school for pregnant and parenting girls in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The students taught Aimee about endurance, balancing anger and joy, and the search for trust and compassion without pity. She also learned that a party is not a fiesta without the pernil and arroz con gandules. Gracias por todo.
Aimee Loiselle has flown to Europe twice. The first time she was 20-years-old and landed in Madrid. A colossal airtight bus drove her and several Dartmouth students past miles of olive groves to Granada to meet their host families. The second time she was 26-years-old and landed in Milan. She and a friend rode the trains around Italy and France. On a trip to Rome, she shared a train car with Woody Harrelson but didn’t get a photograph. She decided to play the cool and worldly American traveler who wasn’t enamored of celebrity.
Aimee Loiselle ate a lot of bacon and eggs when she was a toddler. She stopped eating eggs at about age six and didn’t touch them for almost 15 years, until a college trip to southern Spain. Her Spanish family served fried eggs and Spanish tortillas, which consist of eggs and potatoes. Now Aimee cooks eggs quite frequently and prefers scrambled eggs with diced cheese. While housesitting in 1998, she even gathered her own eggs from chickens wandering freely around her colleague’s house in rural Massachusetts.
Aimee Loiselle is the oldest of three sisters who grew up in western Massachusetts. When Aimee was little, her mom refused to buy her a Barbie doll. Instead, Aimee had a Daisy doll in a modest navy-blue bathing suit that made her look like an Olympic swimmer. As the oldest, Aimee also had her mouth washed out with soap, her butt spanked, and was grounded to her room–but she feels these hardships only made her stronger. Aimee’s youngest sister, on the other hand, received a Barbie and a pink corvette.
Aimee Loiselle and her sisters liked to play suspenseful games of hide-n-go-seek with their dad. They often fought over the top three hiding spots–a clothes hamper, broom closet, and kitchen cabinet. Her dad encouraged the three girls to play in other competitions as well, including soccer, tennis, bicycling, softball, and any other sport that gave him an opportunity to swear.