The Shutter of Snow (Faber Editions) by Emily Holmes Coleman


Bookseller Review by Elle: 

A rediscovered classic for fans of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and ‘The Bell Jar’. A shocking and revelatory portrait of female mental illness, originally written in the 1930s. A haunting yet memorable read. 

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Some days, Marthe Gail believes she is God; others, Jesus Christ. Her baby, she thinks, is dead. The red light is shining. There are bars on the window. And the voices keep talking. Time blurs; snow falls. The doctors say it is a breakdown; that this is Gorestown State Hospital. Her fellow patients become friends and enemies, moving between the Day Room and Dining Hall, East Hall and West Side, avoiding the Strong Room. Her husband visits and shows her a lock of her baby’s hair, but she doesn’t remember, yet – until she can make it upstairs, ascending towards release … Shocking and hilarious, tragic and visceral, this experimental portrait of motherhood and mental illness written in 1930 has never felt more visionary.