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psychological became popular around this time.
This was the first time the thought of a crazy housewife came to mind, but I found the time period intriguing as well because even as a history student, I couldn’t think of a visual image of period clothing. People can't think, oh yeah that's what they used to wear, which they can say about the 1920s or 1950s. I don't know why that grabbed my interest but it did. Nevertheless, at the time, the idea was fleeting, and I was preparing a science fiction story in my head.
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When I graduated college and moved to a new state, I left behind everything I was connected to and overwhelmed with, and for the first time I had some freedom to just be, but that freedom was unbearable. I had this overwhelming desire to do something of meaning while simultaneously wanting to do nothing.
One day I was going over these thoughts while in my new one-man white box of a shower, and I released my feelings through a type of free-write in my head, which ultimately grew into the core idea for A White Room.
I imagined a white room that represented the obligation of life and inside there was a woman in a white flowing dress. Outside the room lay freedom but outside one does not fulfill the obligations of life that keep you alive. The tragic thing about this place is in the end the woman has to and always chooses obligation over liberation to maintain her life and the lives of people who rely on her.
However, she questions how much longer she can stand the prison before she is willing to sacrifice it all for those few moments of freedom. Thus was born the idea of A White Room.
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Initially, all I knew was the white room was going to drive her insane and through my research the story of her childhood and escape from insanity grew into Emeline Evans Dorr, the insane perfection-seeker who only wanted to be a nurse but sacrificed it all to serve her family but in the end finds freedom after all. The book is called A White Room instead of The White Room because anyone can have a white room of their own. Later the classic short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman would play a large role in the development of this inspiration.
Amazon US ReviewCarroll does a superb job of pulling the reader in from the start. We feel as if we are Emma, her thoughts and actions and worries so pervasive to our own minds. Just as the house seeps in to our bones and we feel it closing around us as Emma does, as we feel the creepiness making the hair on our arms raise, just as we ourselves might go mad out of anger for Emma's life, a redeeming break happens. The light enters in and Emma shines. - Erin Al-Mehairi
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