Onoto Watanna

The Diary of Delia

Delia is a confident young woman who works as a housekeeper for a small family. Every morning, she gets up before everyone else and makes breakfast for each family member, then starts on her cleaning tasks. Despite her close relationship with the family she works for, Delia feels that she has more potential and does not like working a housemaid. She feels disrespected by some members in the family, and wants to try to find another job. After meeting with her friend, Minnie, Delia decides that she will quit her job. She wakes up the next morning and refuses to make the breakfast as usual. Instead, she tells the family of her decision and asked for the wages she’s due. Even though the family protests, Delia gets her wages and goes off to live with Minnie. However, Delia soon learns that the world is not kind to working women, and she struggles to find a well-paying job. Poor and unsure what to do, Delia remains optimistic and fights to find the best place for her.

Set in the early 1900s, The Diary of Delia is an intimate account of life as a poor working woman. Featuring detailed descriptions of landscapes, customs and dialects, The Diary of Delia acts a valuable and entertaining historical source. With animate and memorable characters, Onoto Watanna creates a historical narrative that still feels fresh and compelling to a modern audience.

First published in 1907, Onoto Watanna’s The Diary of Delia is rarely found in print. This special edition features a stunning cover design and is printed in an easy-to-read font. With these accommodations, this edition of The Diary of Delia caters to contemporary readers by restoring the novel to modern standards while preserving the original intimacy of Onoto Watanna’s work.
95 printed pages
Original publication



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