The Awakening

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Penguin Random House, 2011 - Fiction - 221 pages
Kate Chopin's compelling, candid portrait of a woman attempting to seek a life beyond her role as devoted wife and mother was considered dangerous when first published in 1899 The Pontellier family are spending a hot, lazy holiday on the Gulf of Mexico. No-one expects that Edna Pontellier should be preoccupied with anything more than her husband and children. When an illicit summer romance awakens new ideas and longings in Edna, she can barely understand herself, and cannot hope for aid or acceptance in the stifling attitudes of Louisiana society. Now considered a classic, this tale of liberation caused a scandal when it was first published and was dismissed as "vulgar," "unhealthy," and "morbid" by other contemporary reviewers, effectively ending Chopin's career.

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User Review  - RealLifeReading - LibraryThing

I once tried to read this book, quite some years ago, when I wasn't ready for it and I didn't finish it. But today, many years older (and hopefully wiser), I finally understood it. And it was ... Read full review

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User Review  - bcrowl399 - LibraryThing

This was somewhat difficult to read, mainly because of the writing style of the time period, I think. I was overly dramatic. There were some lovely passages of description and I understood the point of the story, but the style was a little clumsy. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Kate Chopin was born in St Louis, Missouri on 8 Feb 1850. Born Katherine O'Flaherty, she grew up in a predominantly female household after her father died when she was just four years old. Her father was an Irish immigrant, and her mother was French Creole. In 1870 she married Oscar Chopin, a local cotton trader, and together they had six children. In 1882 Oscar died from swamp fever, leaving Kate a widow with a large family to support, and the heir to his sizeable debts. She turned to writing in order to support her young family, publishing her first short story in 1889. A number of her works were subsequently published in literary magazines and popular American periodicals, including Vogue. Chopin published only two novels in her lifetime- At Faultand The Awakening. The Awakening, published in 1899, was largely condemned as vulgar and immoral by critics of the time. Dismayed by such a harsh reception, Chopin cut short her brief career as a novelist, and for the remainder of her life focused solely on writing short stories, poetry and reviews. Kate Chopin died on 22 August 1904 from a brain haemorrhage.

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