Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy birthday, Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, best known for her chilling autobiographical story "The Yellow Wall-Paper" (1892), was born today in Hartford in 1860. The great-niece of Uncle Tom's Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe, Gilman also wrote a single mystery novel, Unpunished (written in 1927, finally published in 1997 by Feminist Press), which I discussed in Jim Huang's They Died in Vain: Overlooked, Underappreciated, and Forgotten Mystery Novels (2002). As to the reason Unpunished was not published in Gilman's lifetime (she committed suicide in 1935, due to breast cancer), consider this publisher's assessment: "I find your characters interesting. That is not necessary in a detective story."

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