“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a feminist classic, a haunting critique of the isolation treatment for female hysteria wrapped up in a superb psychological horror story. Over a century later women are still battling gender bias in the treatment of mental illness. Here are 15 stories of very different women who have in common the fact that they are fighting for control of their worlds and of their minds. Traci Orsi's "Waiting for Jordan" finds Julia hallucinating at home when her husband is shipped off to Iraq. Leah Chaffin's "Last Caress" delves into the sad and savage story of a rare female serial killer while in "An Obedient Girl" Amy Bridges relates her experience as an average girl who has a singular experience with a lobotomized woman. Age, religion, motherhood, sex and work life are all explored in these gripping stories of women who remain Behind the Yellow Wallpaper, battling valiantly and sometimes viciously to break free by any means necessary. Each story is paired with original photographic art by Loreal Prystaj. Prystaj’s dark, gripping art evoke the same despair, fear, anger, hopelessness, heartache, and fight for survival that make up these extraordinary New Tales of Madness.
Rose Yndigoyen is a freelance writer and archivist in New York City. She has written for the websites AfterEllen and Biographile and examines queer and feminist issues in pop culture on her blog, The Ladyist. She is a co-creator and co-host of the podcast Pretty Little Recaps. Rose was a 2013 Lambda Literary fellow, and is hard at work on her first novel, a queer young adult love story. Rose lives with her wife in northern Manhattan. They are proud foster parents.
Loreal Prystaj is a visual artist based in New York City. She was born and raised upstate in Rochester and has always loved visually creating: from illustrating and sculpting to painting and photography. Her work is eye catching, full of movement, vibrant color, and is playful to all stretches of the imagination, with, at times, a dark twist. Loreal has spoken at accredited universities, such as NYU and The Fashion Institute of Technology. Her work has been shown in exhibits in California, Vermont, upstate New York, and Manhattan. This past summer her work was exhibited in Pinyoa, China, at the Pinyoa Art Exhibit. Presently she has a collaborative installation piece in New York City's Soho district and her work is part of the permanent collection of the Erie Art Museum in Pennsylvania. She has been published in CREEM Magazine, Icon, Niche, and ArtBuzz. Loreal continues to express her ideas through the eye of the lens, and grows as an artist. She and her work are inspirational, complex, often simple, and continues to expand.
Rescued from the bedside of her difficult mother, forty-something Cilla finds herself called away to Rome to keep an eye on her wayward teenage niece, Hannah. But after years of caregiving, babysitting is the last thing Cilla wants to do. Instead she throws herself into Hannah's youthful, heedless world—drinking, dancing, smoking—relishing the heady atmosphere of the Italian summer. After years of feeling used up and overlooked, Cilla feels like she's coming back to life. But being so close to Hannah brings up complicated memories, making Cilla restless and increasingly reckless, and a dangerous flirtation with a teenage boy soon threatens to send her into a tailspin.
With the sharp-edged insight of Ottessa Moshfegh and the taut seduction of Patricia Highsmith, The Worst Kind of Want is a dark exploration of the inherent dangers of being a woman. In her unsettling follow-up to Catalina, Liska Jacobs again delivers hypnotic literary noir about a woman whose unruly desires and troubled past push her to the brink of disaster.
The driving forces behind Rhodes’s work include a decolonizing ethos; a queer sensibility that extends beyond sexual and gender identities to include a politics of deviance; errantry; ramshackled bodies; and forms of loving and living that persist in their wild difference. Invoking individual and collective ghosts inherited across diverse geographies, this collection queers the space between past, present, and future. In these poems, haunting is a kind of memory weaving that can bestow a freedom from the attenuations of the so-called American dream, which, according to Rhodes, is a nightmare of assimilation, conquest, and genocide. How love unfolds is also a Big Bang emergence into life—a way to, again and again, cut the future open, open up the opening, undertake it, begin.
These poems are written for immigrants, queer and transgender people of color, women, Latin Americans, diasporic communities, and the many impacted by war.