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The Awakening and Selected Stories (Vintage Classics)

The Awakening and Selected Stories (Vintage Classics)

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Publication Date: February 21st, 2023
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A feminist literary landmark: the daring story of a woman's search for personal freedom that was so controversial in 1899 that it ended its author's career.

With an effortless, sure-handed artistry, Kate Chopin tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a young mother and model wife, whose romantic involvement with a young man at a seaside resort allows her for the first time to imagine a freer life. Upon her return to New Orleans, Edna leaves her husband’s home for her own cottage, pursues her artistic ambitions, and begins an affair, only to discover that the constraints of social custom are more powerful than she had thought. Contemporary readers were shocked by the frank, unapologetic treatment of adultery in The Awakening, but over the ensuing century the novel went on to achieve the status of a classic for its visionary prescience and narrative brilliance.

About the Author

KATE CHOPIN (1851-1904) brought out her first novel, At Fault, at her own expense in 1890. It was followed by two well-reviewed collections of her short stories: Bayou Folk in 1894 and A Night in Acadie in 1897. The Awakening appeared in 1899 to an explosion of disapproving reviews and the cancellation of her next book contract. However, within a decade of her early death at the age of fifty-four, her literary genius began to be widely recognized.

ABOUT THE INTRODUCER:  JANE SMILEY is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and the Last Hundred Years Trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. Her most recent novels are Perestroika in Paris and A Dangerous Business. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature.

Praise for The Awakening and Selected Stories (Vintage Classics)

"A Creole Bovary is this little novel of Miss Chopin's."
--Willa Cather