Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

The Yellow Wallpaper

It was only a matter of time before this story featured in my 365 stories selection and it’s my choice for this week’s Book Talk, so I’m very much looking forward to having the opportunity to discuss it tomorrow. I’ve read this story on numerous occasions and still love it. Why? Well, there’s the subject matter, the view of women at a point in history, the format (a series of brief diary entries), the language, the suggestion of the gothic and horror, and of course the yellow wallpaper. I challenge anyone not to get the idea of wallpaper taking on a life of its own, even without the added effect of postpartum psychosis.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an American feminist (Connecticut), a sociologist, and writer.  The Yellow Wallpaper is semi autobiographical.

Images of Gilman show a resemblance to another writer on the other side of the Atlantic, born a little later and dying earlier.   Gilman and Woolf have the same hairstyle and both have strong chins.  I’m not making anything of this just that it struck me instantly, and now I’m hunting for other connections – feminism, free-spirited, highly intelligent, took their own lives …..

I’ll get to Woolf, don’t worry.