The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin (Signet Classics)

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9780451524485: The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin (Signet Classics)
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“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.”
 
Kate Chopin was enjoying wide popularity as a writer, mainly of short stories, when her second novel, The Awakening, was published to widespread criticism of its immorality. A wake-up call to women all over the country, this landmark novel of early American feminism tells of a Louisiana wife who discovers the strength of her own sexuality and tries to wrench it from the hands of a patriarchal society. And just as Edna Pontellier is ostracized for trying to master her own sexual fate, so did Chopin’s reputation suffer after she wrote this book. Today The Awakening is considered a masterpiece and, along with Chopin’s short stories, has set a standard for younger generations of women who have learned to value their independence and authenticity.

Edited and with an Introduction by Barbara H. Solomon and with a New Afterword by Roxane Gay.

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From the Inside Flap:

The Awakening shocked turn-of-the-century readers and reviewers with its treatment of sex and suicide.  In a departure 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 convention are themes of this now-classic novel.  

The book was influenced by French writers ranging from Flaubert to Maupassant, and can be seen as a precursor of the impressionistic, mood-driven novels of Virginia Woolf and Djuna Barnes.  Variously called "vulgar," "unhealthily introspective," and "morbid," the book was neglected for several decades, not least because it was written by a "regional" woman writer.  This edition also includes selected stories from Kate Chopin's Bayou Folk and A Night in Acadie, and an introduction and notes by Nina Baym.

From the Back Cover:

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

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