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The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader: The Yellow Wallpaper, and Other Fiction

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  91 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader is an anthology of fiction by one of America's most important feminist writers. Probably best known as the author of "The Yellow Wallpaper," in which a woman is driven mad by chauvinist psychiatry, Gilman wrote numerous other short stories and novels reflecting her radical socialist and feminist view of turn-of-the-century America. Colle ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 12th 1980 by Pantheon
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Melee
Apr 27, 2014 Melee rated it liked it
(I apologize for this review which was written at midnight by a v. tired me and will probably make little sense to those who haven't read "The Yellow Wallpaper".)

I recently finished writing a literary analysis on "The Yellow Wallpaper" and decided to read the rest of the stories in the book because why not. The rest of the stories didn't do much for me, even though they were almost all about women becoming strong and independent. But I love "The Yellow Wallpaper", especially for the way it's wri
...more
Jo Ann
I only picked up this collection of shorts for one story, The Yellow Wallpaper.

It's basically about a woman who slowly descends into madness. It is considered one of the most personal works by this author. Charlotte Perkins Gilman suffered from severe depression most of her life, this story came about because her (real) physician ordered her to stop reading, writing and painting and lock herself away from the world. Nothing but sleeping and eating with out any social interaction what so ever. Sh
...more
Ashley
I checked out this book solely to read Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper". Encompassing roughly 15 pages, it's very short but has a haunting presence. The descriptions are so vivid and the narrator is never given a name or proper description other than "wife", "darling", or "sweetheart" by her (possibly) unknowingly oppressive husband, John. Her experiences are written off and dismissed, until the climactic ending. Gilman does a wonderful job of bringing you into the narrator's wallpape ...more
Thomas
Jul 11, 2015 Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The niece of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a forgotten feminist author of the pre-WWI era. Prolific in her time, she published her own zine for seven years; collectively, its contents fill 28 volumes.

This particular compilation does what many of her compilations appear to do: collect the best of her pithy short stories and add excerpts from her longer polemic novels and novellas. The results are a mixed bag: the stories, although formulaic, are great fun reads about rebellio
...more
Regi
Sep 17, 2012 Regi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Readers may remember the story "The Yellow Wallpaper" from horror anthologies, but Charlotte Perkins Gilman was much more than a horror writer - a feminist, a publisher, a "failed" mother, and a hopeful visionary - and she spent her life up until her suicide in following her beliefs and trying to share her views for a better world.

This book contains some short stories in their entirety and excerpts from longer works such as "Herland", "The Crux" and others. The introduction gives a thorough over
...more
Meen
How amazing that she was doing, thinking, writing the things she was way back then (one hundred years ago now)! Maybe it seemed so amazing because we seem to have backslid so ideologically in this century (well, since the conservative backlash against feminism really took hold in the 1970s). The only really profound writing was "The Yellow Wallpaper," but the other stories I enjoyed as historical documents. A lot of it was pure propaganda (needed propaganda, but propaganda nonetheless), and I tr ...more
Marsha
If we have come to think that the nursery and the kitchen are the natural sphere of a woman, we have done exactly as English children come to think that a cage is the natural sphere of a parrot because they have never seen one anywhere else.—George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish author

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ideas were considered radical for their time. That hint of controversy is evident in her short stories as we are confronted with complacent men (and sometimes women) who are dead certain
...more
Brandy
I only read the short stories in this collection, as the rest was all excerpts from novels, and I'd rather read the whole novel. As for the short stories--of which there are 11--at least 8 of them were the same formula: woman is oppressed in her role as wife/mother, woman finds some kind of work that fulfills her, other women cluck disapprovingly while admitting that she may be on to something if it's working for her. They're funny, witty, and engaging at first, but by the fifth iteration of the ...more
Sophie
Jul 15, 2014 Sophie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating set of short stories, The Yellow Paper being far the most superior and darker than the rest. What is interesting is that while Gilman is a socialist and feminist she still upholds many conservative tropes within her stories, such as women being peaceful by nature and born for motherhood, if in a socialised form. The idealisation in most of the stories is unbelievable at times but a very valuable read.
Allison Punch
Apr 19, 2016 Allison Punch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Although "The Yellow Wallpaper" is her most well-known short story, I think "If I Were a Man" is one of the most eye-opening stories of experiencing male privilige for the first time. The anthology is a quick but heavily relatable read.
Phredric
Sep 25, 2013 Phredric rated it it was ok
I had previously read Herland and With Her in Ourland, as well as The Yellow Wallpaper, and picked this up to get a sense of Gilman's short stories. The stories are mostly a vehicle for her political views but are nicely done.
Charlotte
Mar 09, 2010 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christine recommended The Yellow Wallpaper and lent me this reader. Can't believe I've never encountered Gilman before. What a great feminist author. Love her stories!
Michele J
I had read The Yellow Wallpaper before and really liked it. It's still a great story but the others in the collection didn't hold my interest as much.
Malcolm
Sep 07, 2015 Malcolm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Collects together some of her major fiction to show that she was much more than The Yellow Wallpaper – although that is a piece of genius.
Dayla
Mar 01, 2013 Dayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story from an early feminist. Gilman was also the niece of Harriet Beecher Stowe. I wonder of Rev. Beecher was her father.
HeavyReader
Jun 23, 2007 HeavyReader rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in feminist classics
Shelves: feminist
That "Yellow Wallpaper" story is really creepy.

I enjoy the short stories in this collection.
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Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a prominent American sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and non fiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Her best remembered work today i ...more
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