The Awakening

The Awakening

By Kate Chopin; Marilyn Robinson (Illustrator)

Bantam Classics, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780553213300, 240pp.

Publication Date: June 3, 2003

First published in 1899, this beautiful, briefnovel so disturbed critics and the public that itwas banished for decades afterward. Now widely readand admired, "The Awakening" hasbeen hailed as an early vision of woman'semancipation. This sensuous book tells of a woman'sabandonment of her family, her seduction, and herawakening to desires and passions that threated toconsumer her. Originally entitled "A SolitarySoul," this portrait of twenty-eight-year-oldEdna Pontellier is a landmark in American fiction, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of HermanMelville and Emily Dickinson. Here, a woman insearch of self-discovery turns away from convention andsociety, and toward the primal, from conventionand society, and toward the primal, irresistiblyattracted to nature and the senses"TheAwakening," Kate Chopin's last novel, has beenpraised by Edmund Wilson as "beautifullywritten." And Willa Cather described its style as"exquisite," "sensitive," and"iridescent." This edition of "TheAwakening" also includes a selection ofshort stories by Kate Chopin.
"This seems to me ahigher order of feminism than repeating the storyof woman as victim... Kate Chopin gives her femaleprotagonist the central role, normally reservedfor Man, in a meditation on identity and culture, consciousness and art." -- From theintroduction by Marilynne Robinson.

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.