Being an English major in college, it surprises me I never encountered (or don’t remember) this book in my American Lit class. Being a librarian, I am familiar with this title sitting on my fiction shelves. But I never picked it up to peruse the pages.
I receive Garrison Keillor’s daily email “The Writer’s Almanac” — always full of interesting information and pithy writing. Today’s issue celebrates Kate Chopin’s birthday, February 8, 1850, in St. Louis, MO — a city I dearly love after living there for 14 years.
I learned: “She came from a wealthy family — her father was a successful businessman and her mother was a beautiful socialite from one of the city’s oldest Creole families. Kate was a Southern belle, a devoted wife, and the mother of six children.
“But then her husband died, and soon after that her mother died. Chopin was depressed. Her family doctor thought she was a very good letter-writer, so he encouraged her to try writing fiction as a way to stay occupied. Over the next 15 years, Kate Chopin wrote almost 100 short stories and sketches, and two novels, At Fault (1890) and The Awakening (1899). The Awakening is the story of Edna Pontellier, who gives up her roles as wife and mother, has an affair, and eventually walks into the sea, perhaps committing suicide. And when it was published, Kate Chopin was censored and criticized. But now she is considered an important early feminist author, and The Awakening is considered a classic of American fiction.”
My fingers raced to amazon.com to order a copy. There I learned this Kindle edition costs $0.00! News too good to not share with you! I assume this is a limited time offer, so zip to amazon for a copy!