Kate Chopin: Complete Novels and Stories

Kate Chopin: Complete Novels and Stories


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In works set on ruined Louisiana plantations and in bustling New Orleans, Kate Chopin wrote with unblinking honesty about the strictures of propriety, the illusions of love and the realities of marriage, and the persistence of a past scarred by slavery and war. Her stories challenged contemporary mores as much by their sensuousness as their politics. Complete Novels and Stories gathers all of Chopin's extraordinary fiction for the first time.

The novel At Fault (1890) is an explosive melodrama centered on a love triangle between a strong-willed young widow, the stiff St. Louis businessman who buys timber rights to her plantation, 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 dazzling literary art, crafting perfectly calibrated tales of Louisiana culture with sympathetic insight. Suffused with a rich sense of place, Chopin's charming and often provocative stories bring to life the enticing world of the Louisiana bayou.

But The Awakening (1899), which scandalized many of her contemporaries and effectively ended her career, marks the true measure of her achievement. This story of a deeply unsatisfied woman embarking on a quixotic search for fulfillment brings together Chopin's great themes: the feminine longing for liberation from convention, the place of the woman artist in society, and the mysterious links between desire, birth, and death. Rendered with precision, detachment, and a suggestive ambiguity that defies easy judgments, The Awakening restored Chopin to literary prominence after its rediscovery by critics in the 1960s and 1970s.

The volume also contains stories Chopin never collected, including those meant for "A Vocation and a Voice," a book canceled by her publisher in 1900; stories Chopin never tried to publish, such as the erotically daring "The Storm"; and "Ti Frere," "A Horse Story," and "Alexandre's Wonderful Experience," the stories found in a long-lost cache of Chopin's papers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781931082211
Publisher: Library of America
Publication date: 09/30/2002
Series: Library of America Series , #136
Pages: 1075
Sales rank: 805,247
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Kate Chopin (1850–1904) was born in St. Louis. She moved to Louisiana where she wrote two novels and numerous stories. Because The Awakening was widely condemned, publication of Chopin’s third story collection was cancelled. The Awakening was rediscovered by scholars in the 1960s and 1970s and is her best-known work.

Table of Contents

At Fault1
Bayou Folk
A No-Account Creole165
In and Out of Old Natchitoches191
In Sabine205
A Very Fine Fiddle214
Beyond the Bayou216
Old Aunt Peggy223
The Return of Alcibiade224
A Rude Awakening231
The Benitous' Slave240
Desiree's Baby242
A Turkey Hunt248
Madame Celestin's Divorce250
Love on the Bon-Dieu254
Boulot and Boulotte273
For Marse Chouchoute275
A Visit to Avoyelles282
A Wizard from Gettysburg286
Ma'ame Pelagie294
At the 'Cadian Ball302
La Belle Zoraide312
A Gentleman of Bayou Teche318
A Lady of Bayou St. John325
A Night in Acadie
A Night in Acadie335
After the Winter386
A Matter of Prejudice407
A Dresden Lady in Dixie417
Neg Creol425
The Lilies432
A Sentimental Soul456
Dead Men's Shoes467
At Cheniere Caminada475
Odalie Misses Mass486
Tante Cat'rinette497
A Respectable Woman506
Ripe Figs510
Ozeme's Holiday511
The Awakening519
Uncollected Stories
Emancipation. A Life Fable659
Wiser Than a God660
A Point at Issue!670
Miss Witherwell's Mistake683
With the Violin692
Mrs. Mobry's Reason696
The Going Away of Liza706
The Maid of Saint Phillippe711
A Shameful Affair719
A Harbinger726
Doctor Chevalier's Lie728
An Embarrassing Position: Comedy in One Act730
A Little Free-Mulatto744
Miss McEnders746
An Idle Fellow755
The Story of an Hour756
The Night Came Slowly772
The Kiss775
Her Letters778
Two Summers and Two Souls786
The Unexpected789
Two Portraits793
Madame Martel's Christmas Eve804
The Recovery812
A Pair of Silk Stockings816
Aunt Lympy's Interference821
The Blind Man828
Ti Frere830
A Vocation and a Voice839
A Mental Suggestion869
The Locket884
A Morning Walk890
An Egyptian Cigarette894
A Family Affair898
Elizabeth Stock's One Story911
A Horse Story918
The Storm926
The Godmother932
A Little Country Girl952
A Reflection959
Ti Demon960
A December Day in Dixie965
Alexandre's Wonderful Experience968
The Gentleman from New Orleans977
The White Eagle1021
The Wood-Choppers1024
The Impossible Miss Meadows1035
Note on the Texts1054
Index of Titles1069

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