Bayou Folk, a collection of twenty-three short stories by Kate Chopin, including the well known "Désirée's Baby".
Désirée, a beautiful young woman who grew up with foster parents, marries a successful plantation owner. But when their newborn child exhibits African American skin coloring, her husband claims Désirée's unknown parentage is to blame. But as Désirée wanders away we discover that her husband's racial identity is as ambiguous.
"At the 'Cadian Ball," another well-known story in the collection, features the dashing Alcée Laballiere, Chopin's fictional portrayal of her own lover, Albert Sampite.
Chopin is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of thefeministauthors of the 20th century.
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About the Author
From 1892 to 1895, she wrote short stories for both children and adults which were published in such magazines asAtlantic Monthly,Vogue,The Century Magazine,andThe Youth's Companion.Her major works were two short story collections, Bayou Folk(1894) andA Night in Acadie(1897). Her important short stories included "Desiree's Baby," a tale ofmiscegenationinantebellumLouisiana (published in 1893),"The Story of an Hour" (1894),and "The Storm" (1898)."The Storm" is a sequel to "The 'Cadian Ball," which appeared in her first collection of short stories,Bayou Folk.Chopin also wrote two novels:At Fault(1890) andThe Awakening(1899), which are set inNew OrleansandGrand Isle, respectively. The people in her stories are usually inhabitants of Louisiana. Many of her works are set inNatchitochesin north central Louisiana.
Within a decade of her death, Chopin was widely recognized as one of the leading writers of her time. In 1915, Fred Lewis Patteewrote, "some of [Chopin's] work is equal to the best that has been produced in France or even in America. [She displayed] what may be described as a native aptitude for narration amounting almost to genius."