BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [in Booklist]


Best known for her canonic, autobiographical short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and her nonfiction declaration, Women and Economics, Charlotte Perkins Gilman remains one of history’s greatest feminists. Written in 1915, Herland was initially serialized in Gilman’s own magazine, The Forerunner, but didn’t appear in book-form until 1979. That she created a utopic matriarchal paradise – three men discover a woman-run society in which they’re treated well during their captivity (!) and eventually released – in her fiction is not surprising.

The first audio adaptation appeared in 2011, amiably read by veteran voice actor William Dufris, whose almost languid delivery adds a welcoming sense of camaraderie, as if he’s revealing a secretive adventure. Herland is the second – and best-known, critically and academically – in Gilman’s posthumously named Utopian trilogy, preceded by Moving the Mountain and followed by With Her in Ourland. Her final title, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography, published after her death in 1935, also included her suicide note in the final chapter.

Review: “Media,” Booklist Online, August 9, 2019

Readers: Adult

Published: 1915, 2011 (audio)


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