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Charlotte Perkins Gilman

(1860 - 1935)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a prominent American feminist, sociologist, novelist, and short-story writer. Best known for her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892), which is a seminal work in feminist literature, she wrote extensively on gender and economics to further the women's movement. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Gilman experienced an impoverished and difficult childhood that greatly influenced her thinking and writing.

Gilman's most famous work, "The Yellow Wallpaper," is a semi-autobiographical piece that explores the mental degradation of a woman due to the rest cure prescribed for her "nervous condition." The story powerfully critiques the patriarchal medical establishment and the broader societal constraints on women's independence. Her utopian novel "Herland" (1915) explores a secluded society composed entirely of women, free from male-domination, and is another significant contribution to feminist literature.

Beyond fiction, Gilman authored non-fiction books such as "Women and Economics" (1898), advocating for economic independence and the socialization of domestic tasks. She founded, edited, and wrote for "The Forerunner," a magazine dedicated to social reform, women's rights, and humanism from 1909 to 1916.

Gilman's work made significant contributions to discussions about women's roles and rights. In her life and literature, she sought to empower women through education, work, and social reform. Charlotte Perkins Gilman remains a crucial figure in the history of feminist thought and literature.

Short Stories member since March 2016