The Yellow Wallpaper

1 CD. 41 min. Dreamscape. Mar. 2017. ISBN 9781520067438. $39.99. F
Told in secret diary entries written by an unnamed woman suffering postpartum depression, this short story chronicles the treatment of women and the social conditions in the late 19th century. As a reflection of the times, the protagonist's physician husband believes that only complete rest will cure his wife. The woman has little activity, no contact with her new baby, and virtually no social interaction, and her symptoms only increase over time as she broods on the hideous wallpaper in the bedroom to which she is confined. She begins to see women trapped behind the interlocking pattern and slips into psychosis. Based on Gilman's own experience of the "rest cure," this story helped spur mental health reform for women. Long revered in feminist literature, Gilman's classic epistolary story is enhanced by Erin Yuen's narration. She uses a smooth, genteel voice to illuminate the protagonist.
VERDICT For those interested in early feminist literature, pair this recording with Kim Basinger's interpretation of Kate Chopin's The Awakening.

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