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The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings

468 pages7 hours


Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an American sociologist, author, poet, and lecturer whose influential work and unorthodox lifestyle made her an icon for future generations of feminists. Much of her work criticized common perceptions of the role of women in marriage and society, and advocated for educational, financial, and cultural equality amongst the sexes. Her advocacy is exhibited in her novella “Herland”, in which she describes a utopian society composed entirely of women, who reproduce asexually, resulting in an ideal society free of conflict. The world is seen through the viewpoints of three male protagonists who have set off to find and explore this fabled land. Through this story Gilman explores the role of gender in society, implying that it is arbitrarily constructed. Also included in this volume is her most famous short story, “The Yellow Wall-Paper”, a semi-autobiographical story written by Gilman in 1890 after a severe bout of post-partum depression. The story of a woman who is driven insane after three months trapped in her home, deprived of any mental stimulation, was a direct criticism of the doctor who “treated” Gilman’s depression. An additional eighteen short stories and sixteen poems are included in this representative selection of Gilman’s work. This edition includes a biographical afterword.

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