Books That Inspire 2009

The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Originally published in 1892, "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman has been described as a "small, literary masterpiece" as well as a story to "freeze our… blood." The reader comes to inhabit the same feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, and imprisonment experienced by the narrator of this chilling, psychological tale of a woman in the process of going insane. Some critics contend that Gilman wrote the story to reflect her own intense and painful struggles as a patient with post-partum depression. Others claim that it represents an early feminist allegory of the sexual and class politics of marriage, focusing in particular on the uselessness and despair felt by many middle class wives. Either way, I couldn’t put it down!

Robin L. Stroud
Assistant to the Vice President
Administration and Finance