One of America’s first feminists, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote fiction and nonfiction works promoting the cause of women’s rights. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut; her father left the family when she was young, and her mother and the children often lived with relatives. Gilman attended the Rhode Island School of Design and worked briefly as a commercial artist. After the birth of her first child, Gilman suffered from postpartum depression; she relocated to California in 1888, and divorced her first husband, Charles Walter Stetson, in 1894. She married her second husband, George Houghton Gilman, in 1900. In her autobiography, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1935), Gilman described the debilitating experience of undergoing the prescribed “rest cure” for “nervous prostration” after the birth of her child. She fictionalized the experience in her most famous short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892).
 
Gilman published a collection of poems, In This Our World, in 1893. Her poems address the issues of women’s suffrage and the injustices of women’s lives. She was also the author of Women and Economics (1898), Concerning Children (1900), The Home: Its Work and Influence (1903), Human Work (1904), and The Man-Made World; or, Our Androcentric Culture (1911). A prolific writer, she founded, wrote for, and edited The Forerunner, a journal published from 1909 to 1917. A utopian novel, Herland, was published in 1915. 
 
Gilman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1932; she died in 1935.
 
 
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