Author, social reformer and feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) wrote her most famous short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” while living in a small cottage near the corner of Orange Grove Boulevard and Arroyo Terrace in Pasadena.
Southern California was experiencing a record heat wave, when Gilman, who was 29 at the time, sat down at her desk on June 6th, 1890, and began the story. For two days, the temperature fluctuated between 102 and 105 degrees, but by the end of June 7th, she had finished the first draft.
It would take more than a year to get the story published, but it was a turning point in Gilman’s career. Catching the attention of the writer William Dean Howells, an early admirer of Gilman’s work, it was eventually published in New England Magazine in January, 1892.
Basically it’s a story about how a woman’s isolation turns into psychosis. Who can’t relate to that?
If you’ve never read the story, check it out here.