Saturday, 25 June 2011

THE YELLOW WALLPAPER – Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1892 and ADDRESS UNKNOWN – Katherine Kressmann Taylor, 1938

Possibly the two best short stories ever written. Both are written by American women and both quietly but powerfully express their opinion about misguided social or political ideals.
The Yellow Wallpaper was written after its author was prescribed an enforced ‘rest cure’ for depression. Unsurprisingly, it was only after she picked up a pen again that she started to improve. The story is of a woman, deprived of all stimulation ‘for her own good’, literally becoming part of the wallpaper.
Address Unknown is one of the cleverest things I have ever read. It is a classic example of the pen being mightier than the sword and was a chilling warning about the dangers of Nazism.

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