This collection brings together twelve of the finest short stories of prominent American feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman. "The Yellow Wallpaper," Gilman's best-known work, was first published in 1892 and represents an important examination of nineteenth-century attitudes toward women's physical and mental health. Written as a collection of journal entries by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to her bedroom, the story depicts the narrator's descent into psychosis as her confinement gradually erodes her sanity. This collection also includes the stories "The Giant Wistaria," "According to Solomon," "The Boys and the Butter," "Her Housekeeper," "Martha's Mother," "A Middle-Sized Artist," "An Offender," "When I Was a Witch," "The Cottagette," "Making a Living," and "Mr. Robert Grey Sr." - (Findaway World Llc)
Library Journal Reviews
Told in secret diary entries written by an unnamed woman suffering postpartum depression, this short story chronicles the treatment of women and the social conditions in the late 19th century. As a reflection of the times, the protagonist's physician husband believes that only complete rest will cure his wife. The woman has little activity, no contact with her new baby, and virtually no social interaction, and her symptoms only increase over time as she broods on the hideous wallpaper in the bedroom to which she is confined. She begins to see women trapped behind the interlocking pattern and slips into psychosis. Based on Gilman's own experience of the "rest cure," this story helped spur mental health reform for women. Long revered in feminist literature, Gilman's classic epistolary story is enhanced by Erin Yuen's narration. She uses a smooth, genteel voice to illuminate the protagonist. VERDICT For those interested in early feminist literature, pair this recording with Kim Basinger's interpretation of Kate Chopin's The Awakening.—Judy Murray, Monroe Cty. Lib. Syst., Temperance, MI
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Publishers Weekly Reviews
Yuen leads listeners convincingly through this beautifully wrought 1892 short story. She begins the first-person narrative with the voice of a sensible if somewhat distraught young woman confined by her doctor husband to an attic room with hideous yellow wallpaper and bars on the windows. She is thought to have a nervous condition and is permitted no activity, including writing, lest it tire her. Eschewing melodrama, Yuen gradually changes tone and inflection as the weeks pass and the wife starts tearing down the wallpaper, perceives another woman behind it trying to get out, and finally descends into madness. It's a short, intoxicating listen that merits more than one replay. (Mar.)
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