Introduction by Kaye Gibbons
Edited and with notes by Nina Baym
Commentary by Elizabeth Blackwell, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and from "The Picayune's Creole Cook Book"
"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 edition includes selected stories from Chopin's "Bayou Folk "and "A Night in Acadie."
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide.
About the Author
Kate Chopin 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 was taken off the shelves of the St. Louis mercantile library and its author was barred from the fine arts club. Kate Chopin died in 1904.
Nina Baym (Ph.D. Harvard) is Swanlund Endowed Chair and Center for Advanced Study Professor Emerita of English and Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of The Shape of Hawthorne s Career; Woman s Fiction: A Guide to Novels by and About Women in America, 1820 1870; Novels, Readers, and Reviewers: Responses to Fiction in Antebellum America; American Women Writers and the Work of History, 1790 1860; American Women of Letters and the Nineteenth-Century Sciences and most recently, Women Writers of the American West, 1833 1927. Some of her essays are collected in Feminism and American Literary History; she has also edited and introduced many reissues of work by earlier American women writers, from Judith Sargent Murray through Kate Chopin. In 2000 she received the MLA s Hubbell Medal for lifetime achievement in American literary studies.
Kaye Gibbons was born in Nash County, North Carolina and attended Rocky Mount Senior High School, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her first novel, "Ellen Foster", was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction of the American Academy and Institute of the Arts and Letters and a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation. She has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and was recently awarded the PEN/Revson Fellowship for "A Cure for Dreams". She is writer-in-residence at the Library of North Carolina State University. She and her husband, Michael, and their three daughters Mary, Leslie and Louise, live in Raleigh.
"A Creole Bovary is this little novel of Miss Chopin's."