Charlotte Perkins Gilman

New Texts, New Contexts

Edited by Jennifer S. Tuttle and Carol Farley Kessler


Literary Criticism/American
266 pp. 6x9

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The author recommends the following links:

Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society

Complete text of The Forerunner, volumes 1–7


“Well-written, insightful, and persuasive” —American Literary Realism

“With this collection, the editors aim to provide additional context for Gilman’s life and work and to engage with texts often overshadowed by her canonical ones. The editors as well as the contributors have succeeded in these two goals. They situate Gilman more fully in her times and widen the scholarly lens so that more of Gilman’s numerous works come into focus.” —Cynthia J. Davis, professor of English, University of South Carolina

“One of the great things about this collection is that it offers insightful—and absolutely new—essays about ‘The Yellow Wall-paper,’ while it also generates an innovative look about her relatively unread works. It is a stunning response to Gilman’s whole career.” —Dale M. Bauer, professor of English, University of Illinois

During her lifetime, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) was a popular writer, public speaker, and social reformer whose literary interests ranged from short stories, novels, and nonfiction philosophical studies to poetry, newspaper columns, plays, and many other genres. Though she fell into obscurity after her death, there has been a resurgence of interest in Gilman’s works among literary scholars.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: New Texts, New Contexts represents a new phase of feminist scholarship in recovery, drawing readers’ attention to Gilman’s lesser-known works from fresh perspectives that revise what we thought we knew about the author and her work. Volume contributors consider an array of texts that have not yet enjoyed adequate critical scrutiny, including Gilman’s short fiction, drama, and writing for periodicals, as well as her long fiction. Similarly, incorporating careful archival, biographical, and historical research, contributors explore Gilman’s life and writings—including her most famous story, “The Yellow Wall-Paper”—through strikingly new critical lenses. Other essays included here assess Gilman’s place in a longer historical trajectory and within multiple rhetorical traditions, from the genre of feminist humor to the canon of African American women’s literary production.

Jennifer S. Tuttle is associate professor of English and Dorothy M. Healy Chair in Literature & Health at the University of New England, where she serves as Faculty Director, Maine Women Writers Collection; she also coedits Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers. Carol Farley Kessler is professor emerita of English, American Studies, and Women’s Studies at Penn State-Brandywine, and has also published on Elizabeth Stuart Phelps and U.S. women’s utopian writing.