Published in 1899, The Awakening traces the transformation of Edna Pontellier from a respectable wife to a woman who openly spurns social and marital conventions. Chopin's reward for her fearless honesty was a chorus of condemnation and censure. Crystalline prose and timeless themes make The Awakening as eye-opening today as in 1899. — Mike Hare
I am absolutely fascinated with this novel... and not only because it was temporarily banned in the 20th century for presenting scandalous themes. We follow Edna Pontellier on her quest for sexual, economical, and artistic gratification in lieu of Victorian women's "acceptable" roles. It's an ethical tug-of-war that speaks to women who try to sculpt their own identities in the midst of motherhood and argues that women have individual needs other than a house, husband, and children.┬áThe Awakening┬áis rich with haunting images of caged birds, golden rings, and the pull of the sea, making this one of the most intriguing feminist novels I have read.... and a must read for any mother. — Jess Hanlon
Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis, Missouri,In 1851. She began writing shortly after herHusband's death and, from 1889 until her ownDeath, her stories and other miscellaneousWritings appeared in Vogue, Youth's companion,Atlantic Monthly, Century, Saturday EveningPost, 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.