Kate Bolick is the author of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own (2015); she also teaches in the Graduate Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program at New York University. (March 2019)

Follow Kate Bolick on Twitter: @katebolick.

NYR DAILY

The Equivocal Legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

By the time she died, in 1935, all her books were out of print, and early posthumous efforts to keep her reputation alive foundered. It was not until the 1970s, amid the renewed interest of second-wave feminists, that scholars rediscovered this forgotten writer. Yet their initial rush of excitement in doing so was often replaced, as her writings on race came to light, with a sense of confusion and disappointment. How could it be that this progressive feminist activist followed such an injurious line of thinking?