The Yellow Wallpaper

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What to expect

A groundbreaking feminist masterpiece and one of the most exquisite horror stories in American literature.

Diagnosed by her physician husband with a “temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency” after the birth of her child, a woman is urged to rest for the summer in an old colonial mansion. Forbidden from doing work of any kind, she spends her days in the house’s former nursery, with its barred windows, scratched floor, and peeling yellow wallpaper.

In a private journal, the woman records her growing obsession with the “horrid” wallpaper. Its strange pattern mutates in the moonlight, revealing what appears to be a human figure in the design. With nothing else to occupy her mind, the woman resolves to unlock the mystery of the wallpaper. Her quest, however, leads not to the truth, but into the darkest depths of madness.

With masterly use of unreliable storytelling and a scathing indictment of patriarchal medical practices, The Yellow Wallpaper is a true American classic.

Critics Review

  • “Narrator Beata Pozniak’s captivating accent and likable style are ideal for this seminal feminist short story (1892)…Pozniak faultlessly delivers journal entries that express the woman’s longing to see her baby and to go outside. She is kept in a room with yellow wallpaper, whose eerie designs eventually appear to come alive. Impressive sound effects—for example, the wallpaper’s movements and sounds, as well as the woman’s breathing—augment Pozniak’s voice as it slides into notes of terror. Those elements and a riveting conclusion demonstrate that audiobooks can be as horrifying as anything on the screen.”

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