On “The Yellow Wall Paper”

It’s one of my beloved’s favorite short stories (take it easy…it was such before she ever met me), and it’s the topic of a new book and this article about the new book.

Here’s a part:

The value of Horowitz’s book — subtitled “Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Making of ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’ ” — is not that it reveals an autobiographical element in the story. The author herself made that clear in an essay from 1913. Gilman indicated that she had been subjected to a similar course of treatment following a period of postpartum depression. In 1887, a doctor gave her “solemn advice to ‘live as domestic a life as far as possible,’ to ‘have but two hours’ intellectual life a day,’ and ‘never to touch pen, brush, or pencil again’ as long as I lived.” For a woman who had earned a modest living by painting and writing in her 20s, this must have felt like a kind of death sentence.

But Horowitz, a professor emerita of history at Smith College, has excavated parts of the record that go far beyond Gilman’s account of patriarchal malpractice.

Read the rest here or buy the book!