The themes Eunice Tietjens wrote about
Eunice Tietjens (July 29, 1884 - September 6, 1944) was an American poet, novelist, journalist, children's author, lecturer, and editor.
Born as Eunice Strong Hammond in Chicago on July 29, 1884, she was educated in Europe and travelled heavily. She lived in Florida, New York, Japan, China, Tahiti and Tunisia, among other places.
Tietjens was a World War I correspondent for the Chicago Daily News in France, 1917-1918. Her poems had already begun to be published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, the noted poetry magazine, around 1913. She later became publisher Harriet Monroe’s associate editor there for more than twenty-five years. Tietjens' was considered a more patient and generous editor, whose style contrasted sharply with that of Monroe, who was not known to treat would-be contributors with "kid gloves".
One collection of stories, "Burton Holmes Travel Stories: Japan, Korea and Formosa" (1924) contains lively descriptions of East Asian countries. By contemporary standards, the stories seem provincial and quaintly Eurocentric. The stories contain descriptions of nationalities and ethnicities that can be understood to be racist. Here's an excerpt:
"...For a great many years this island of Formosa was a terror that haunted all the Western sailors who sailed in those seas. The sea around it is the birthplace of terrible tropical typhoons, which spring up suddenly and sweep helpless ships onto the sharp cliffs, where they are dashed to pieces. And, before Japan tamed her tiger, if a few poor half-drowned sailors managed to land, they were usually captured by the savages who lived there and killed by them. Their heads were preserved as trophies and their bodies eaten, for these savages were cannibals."
Her first husband was Paul Tietjens, whom she married in 1904 and by whom she had a daughter, Janet T. Hart. They divorced in 1914 and she remarried in 1920 to Cloyd Head, playwright and theatrical director, by whom she had a son, Marshall Head.
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