By People Staff
Updated May 21, 1979 12:00 PM

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

High above the sea, nestled in a forest rich with vegetation, stands Herland, a Garden of Eden—but for women only. Enter three rapacious male explorers—a stereotypical stud, a scientist and a sociologist—anxious to partake of the forbidden fruit. To their dismay, passion is as foreign to the inhabitants as ring around the collar. The men are politely captured, forced to learn the language and then find that the graceful, good-natured women get along without them very well. (Though virgins, they have learned to bear daughters.) Gilman, a prominent social critic who wrote this satire in 1915, cleverly spoofs sex roles and shibboleths that she believed oppressed the turn-of-the-century woman. First published in serial form in her monthly, Forerunner, and recently resurrected by literary historian Ann J. Lane, it is, for the modern reader, a paradise found. (Pantheon, $8.95)