Awakening (Wisehouse Classics - Original Authoritative Edition 1899)
The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899. Set in New Orleans and on the Louisiana Gulf coast at the end of the 19th century, the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century American South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women's issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism, generating a mixed reaction from contemporary readers and critics.
The novel's blend of realistic narrative, incisive social commentary, and psycho¬logical complexity makes The Awakening a precursor of American modernist literature; it prefigures the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway and echoes the works of contemporaries such as Edith Wharton and Henry James. It can also be considered among the first Southern works in a tradition that would culminate with the modern master¬pieces of Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Tennessee Williams.
Kate Chopin (1850-1904) is an American writer best known for her stories about the inner lives of sensitive, daring women. Her novel The Awakening and her short stories are read today in countries around the world, and she is widely recognized as one of America's essential authors.
Her short stories were well received in in the 1890s and were published by some of America's most prestigious magazines-Vogue, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Young People, the Youth's Companion, and the Century. A few stories were syndicated by the American Press Association. Many of her stories also appeared in her two published collections, Bayou Folk(1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), both of which received good reviews from critics across the country who praised them for their graceful descriptions of the lives of Creoles, Acadians, African-Americans, and other people in Louisiana. Twenty-six of her stories are children's stories-those published in or intended for children's or family magazines-the Youth's Companion and others. By the late 1890s Kate Chopin was well known among American readers of magazine fiction.
Her early novel At Fault (1890) was not much noticed, but The Awakening (1899) was widely condemned. Critics called it morbid, vulgar, and disagreeable. Chopin's work was mostly forgotten after her death, but, beginning in the 1950s, scholars rediscovered it and praised it for its truthful depictions of women's lives.