Literature's Most Desperate Housewives

By Heba Hasan

Long before the ladies of Wisteria Lane, these fictional wives and mothers revealed the darker, more suffocating side of domesticity.

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Desperate Housewives spawned many popular (if questionable) offspring. From The Real Housewives series to Basketball Wives to Mob Wives, the cultural term has certainly captured the American imagination. But the societal trope, which is comprised of idle, seemingly perfect settings, restless and beautiful women, and often aloof men, is nothing new in the realm of literature. These ladies were not just throwing dinner parties and getting into petty squabbles like their reality show counterparts; rather, they lived in desperate times and were driven to desperate measures. We take a look at the ladies of literature who rebelled against their domestic constructs, often with fatal results.

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/08/literatures-most-desperate-housewives/261738/