The Awakening shocked turn-of-the-century readers with its forthright treatment of sex and suicide. Departing from literary convention, Kate Chopin
failed to condemn her heroine's desire for an affair with the son of a Louisiana resort owner, whom she meets on vacation. The power of sensuality, the delusion of ecstatic love, and the solitude that accompanies the trappings of middle- and upper-class life are the themes of this now-classic novel. As Kaye Gibbons points out in her Introduction, Chopin “was writing American realism before most Americans could bear to hear that they were living it.”
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition includes selected stories from Chopin's Bayou Folk and A Night in Acadie.
A novel that scandalized America because of its sexual frankness, and because of the unconventional behavior of its female protagonist, The Awakening (1899) has enjoyed vast popularity in the 20th century. Our new edition also includes stories from Chopin's Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), along with commentary and Kaye Gibbons's new introduction.
was born in St. Louis, Missouri, In 1851. She began writing shortly after her Husband's death and, from 1889 until her own Death, her stories and other miscellaneous Writings appeared in “Vogue, Youth's companion, Atlantic Monthly, Century, Saturday Evening Post, ” and other publications. In addition to “The Awakening, ”Mrs. Chopin published another novel, “At Fault, ” and two collections of short stories and sketches, “Bayou Folk” and “A Night at Acadie.” The publication of “The Awakening” in 1899 occasioned shocked and angry response from reviewers all over the country. The book