Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin

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The Awakening is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899. Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the nineteenth century, the plot centers around Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women's issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminis...

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ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP

EACH ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:

• A concise introduction that gives readers important background information

• A chronology of the author's life and work

• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context

• An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations

• Detailed explanatory notes

• Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work

• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction

• A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience

Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.

SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON...


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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....

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The Awakening tells of a wife who discovers the strength of her own sexuality and tries to wrench it from the hands of a patriarchal society- and her upper-class Cajun family.This and Chopin's other short stories are standard-setting masterpieces....

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This Second Edition of a perennial favorite in the Norton Critical Edition series represents an extensive revision of its predecessor. The text is that of the first edition of the novel, published by Herbert S. Stone in 1899. It has been annotated by the editor and includes translations of French phrases and information about New Orleans locales, customs, and lore, the Bayou region, and Creole culture. "Bibliographical and Historical Contexts", expanded and introduced by a new Editor’s Note, presents biographical, historical, and cultural documents contemporary with the novel’s publication. Included are a biographical essay by the acclaimed Chopin biographer Emily Toth, "An Etiquette/Advice Book Sampler" with selections from the conduct books of the period in which Chopin lived and wrote, and period fashion plates from Harper’s Bazar. A comprehensive "Criticism" section, introduced by a new Editor’s Note, contains expanded selections from hard-to-find contemporary reviews of the novel; two letters of mysterious origin written in response to the novel; and Chopin’s "Retraction," which followed The Awakening’s negative reception. These are followed by twenty-seven interpretive essays, twelve of them new to the Second Edition, that provide a variety of perspectives on The Awakening, including essays by Cynthia Griffin Wolff, Nancy Walker, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Paula A. Treichler, Sandra M. Gilbert, Lee R. Edwards, Patricia S. Yaeger, Elizabeth Ammons, and Elaine Showalter. A Chronology of Chopin’s life and an updated Selected Bibliography are also included. ....

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From ruined Louisiana plantations to bustling, cosmopolitan New Orleans, Kate Chopin wrote with unflinching honesty about propriety and its strictures, the illusions of love and the realities of marriage, and the persistence of a past scarred by slavery and war. Her stories of fiercely independent women, culminating in her masterpiece The Awakening (1899), challenged contemporary mores as much by their sensuousness as their politics, and today seem decades ahead of their time. Now, The Library of America collects all of Chopin's novels and stories as never before in one authoritative volume.

The explosive novel At Fault (1890) centers on a love triangle between a strong-willed young widow, a stiff St. Louis businessman, and the man's alcoholic wife. In the story collections Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), Chopin transforms the local color sketch into taut, perfectly calibrated tales of post-Civil War bayou culture. In The Awakening, the now-classic novel that scandalized many of her contemporaries and effectively ended her writing career, Chopin tells the story of a restless, unsatisfied woman who embarks on a quixotic search for fulfillment.

The volume also includes all the stories not collected by Chopin, including those meant for "A Vocation and a Voice," a projected volume that her publisher canceled in 1900, and three stories that were found in 1992 in a long-lost cache of Chopin's papers....

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Hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation, The Awakening tells of a woman in search of self-discovery who turns away from convention and society and toward the primal, becoming irresistibly attracted to nature and the senses.
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