Synopses & Reviews
The seminal (1915) feminist utopian novel, written in an attempt to transform the role of women in American life. In Herland, there have been no men for 2000 years, freeing women to develop a humane and independent civilization. Three men happen upon Herland. One is a relentless womanizer, one a romantic who idealizes women, the third Vandyke, the narrator a proto-feminist willing to entertain new and even radical ideas. Their experiences there, the difficulty of their re-education, the emotional ties that are forged, and Gilman's thoughts on the differences between men and women and the societies they would create, form the basis for this innovative and influential work. Issues of dress, work, child-raising, and recreation in Herland are set in satirical contrast to the restrictive, unfair, or just plain absurd practices of American society.
"Herland is a pure delight. Those who know The Yellow Wallpaper but little else of Gilman's life and work will be thrilled. What a serendipitous discovery!" Susan Brownmiller
"Herland is utopia with a smile, a gentle, witty version of what women can be." Marge Piercy
"It's a lovely, funny book. There is a wonderful flavor of Golden Age science fiction, which adds to the fun and doesn't in the least spoil the argument, which is still fresh and very much of today." Joanna Russ
"Cheers to ann Lane for rescuing this delightful fantasy from obscurity. Gilman not only presents a charming/rational vision, but she exposes the absurdities of sexism in a way that still stings after half a century. If the utopias a society produces are any index of its ills, then Herland nails our own." Alix Kates Shulman
On the eve of World War I, an all-female society is discovered somewhere in the distant reaches of the earth by three male explorers who are now forced to re-examine their assumptions about women's roles in society.
This seriously funny book portraying a classic Utopia based upon feminist and socialist ideals is a landmark feminist book. Reissue.