The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)


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The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Kate Chopin, Rachel Adams

The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction, by Kate Chopin, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

When it first appeared in 1899, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was greeted with cries of outrage. The novel’s frank portrayal of a woman’s emotional, intellectual, and sexual awakening shocked the sensibilities of the time and destroyed the author’s reputation and career. Many years passed before this short, pioneering work was recognized as a major achievement in American literature.

Set in and around New Orleans, The Awakening tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a young wife and mother who, determined to control her own life, flouts convention by moving out of her husband’s house, having an adulterous affair, and becoming an artist.

Beautifully written, with sensuous imagery and vivid local descriptions, The Awakening has lost none of its power to provoke and inspire. Additionally, this edition includes thirteen of Kate Chopin’s magnificent short stories.

Stories Included in the Volume:
The Awakening
Emancipation: A Life Fable
A Shameful Affair
At the ‘Cadian Ball
Désirée’s Baby
A Gentleman of Bayou Têche
A Respectable Woman
The Story of an Hour
A Pair of Silk Stockings
Elizabeth Stock’s One Story
The Storm
The Godmother
A Little Country Girl

Rachel Adams teaches nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature at Columbia University.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593081584
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 10/01/2004
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.88(w) x 8.69(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

One of the first books to truthfully write about women’s lives, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is considered a quintessential work of Southern literature and a bold foray into early feminism. Aside from The Awakening, Chopin has written numerous short stories, many exploring Cajun, Creole, and Southern identities.

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The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Adeline79 More than 1 year ago
Edna Pontellier, a resident of New Orleans, is on holiday at a Louisiana holiday resort on Grand Isle. She is with her husband and children as well as the various other guests. Their summer time activities consist of swimming, sitting on the beach, dining and participating in evening social activities. The guests are all Creole and know each other from New Orleans. Edna strikes up some comfortable friendships including spending a lot of time with Robert, the son of the resort owner. Eventually she realizes that she has gradually fallen in love with him. Not only that, but she has begun to recognize herself as an individual with her own unique sensibilities. "She felt as if a mist had been lifted from her eyes, enabling her to look upon and comprehend the significance of life, that monster made up of beauty and brutality."(p.112) Kate Chopin portrays her protagonist Edna as a woman who has a unique sensitivity to life and a particular appreciation for music. After the vacation the family moves back to their home in New Orleans. Now that she has awakened to her new sense of self she finds that she cannot settle back to her former life. So she moves out of her husbands home into a tiny cottage and pursues her desire to be an artist. She shuns all her responsibilities and delves into a life of freedom. It does satisfy like she had hoped it would though. Edna takes one last trip back to the resort where she notes that, "The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude."(p.154) This novel reminded me of Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, but it was a much easier and shorter book to read. It is a good choice if you are looking to read some 'true' classics but do not want something difficult. Chopin is not a 'wordy' writer who goes into great detail. She gives her impressions and ideas in such a way as to spark many questions in your mind rather than to cover all the themes thoroughly. The focus is on the inner psychology of the protagonists mind. The Awakening raises the interesting dilemma of being true to the self versus social responsibility. Kate Chopin's character Edna goes so far as to state, "...she would give up the unessential, but she would never sacrifice herself for her children." When thinking of her husband and children she says, "They were a part of her life. But they need not have thought that they could possess her body and soul."(p.155) Kate Chopin does not give a simple answer to this issue, leaving it open to the reader to interpret the nature of Edna and her choices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good, I really Love it 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At times I found "The Awakening" to be an ironic title,because it often put me to sleep.  I can understand how at the time this novel was revolutionary in the women's right movement, but to a modern reader Edna seems selfish and careless.  I was shocked reading the final page, because I didn't think Edna was desperate enought to kill herself.  Overall I thought the writing was beautifully done,but was not a fan of the plot.  I would not recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the writing, but certain aspects of the plot bothered me.
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Bookworm95AO More than 1 year ago
The first Chopin piece I read was "A Pair of Silk Stockings" in tenth grade English. Intrigued by the clean and somewhat lyrical writing style of Chopin, I went home right away and put this book on my wish list. When I finally got it, I was not disappointed. The book focuses strongly on women's dissatisfaction in their marriages during the nineteenth century. The book is an easy read, and the plots are just fantastic. Definitely a must-read.
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CoCo-in-Wonderland More than 1 year ago
For being over a century or so old,The Awakening was an exceptionally easy read. I read it about a year ago (free nook book)& it was very good yet at times very dark. The ending left me in a funk FOR WEEKS- I didnt see the ending coming.
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