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The Awakening, And Selected Short Stories
by Kate Chopin
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From Library Journal
This gorgeous edition of Chopin's 1899 classic features period photos of the novel's New Orleans location and a durable plastic dust jacket.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister
Edna Pontellier, the heroine of The Awakening, shocked readers in 1899 and the scandal created by the book haunted Kate Chopin for the rest of her life. The Awakening begins at a crisis point in twenty-eight year-old Edna Pontellier's life. Edna is a passionate and artistic woman who finds few acceptable outlets for her desires in her role as wife and mother of two sons living in conventional Creole society. Unlike the married women around her, whose sensuality seems to flow naturally into maternity, Edna finds herself wanting her own emotional and sexual identity. During one summer while her husband is out of town, her frustrations find an outlet in an affair with a younger man. Energized and filled with a desire to define her own life, she sends her children to the country and removes herself to a small house of her own: "Every step she took toward relieving herself from obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual. She began to look with her own eyes; to see and apprehend the deeper undercurrents of life. No longer was she content to 'feed upon the opinion' when her own soul had invited her." Her triumph is short-lived, however, destroyed by a society that has no place for a self-determined, unattached woman. Her story is a tragedy and one of many clarion calls in its day to examine the institution of marriage and woman's opportunities in an oppressive world. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14.
"Interesting and Timely . . . Chopin's oracular feminism and prophetic prophetic psychology almost outweigh her estimable literary talents."
A woman seeks love and the fulfillment of her essential nature outside of her stuffy, middle-class marriage. This book shocked the readers of 1899 and paved the way for the modern novel. Three 90-minute cassettes and one 60.
A minor masterpiece, The Awakening was a scandalous book when it arrived from the turn-of-the-century presses. With a heroine who found her husband dull, married life dreary and confining, and motherhood to be bondage, this revolutionary book is still relevant to many.
From the Publisher
First published in 1899, this beautiful, brief novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, The Awakening has been hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation. This sensuous book tells of a woman's abandonment of her family, her seduction, and her awakening to desires and passions that threated to consumer her. Originally entitled "A Solitary Soul," this portrait of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier is a landmark in American fiction, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson. Here, a woman in search of self-discovery turns away from convention and society, and toward the primal, from convention and society, and toward the primal, irresistibly attracted to nature and the sensesThe Awakening, Kate Chopin's last novel, has been praised by Edmund Wilson as "beautifully written." And Willa Cather described its style as "exquisite," "sensitive," and "iridescent." This edition of The Awakening also includes a selection of short stories by Kate Chopin.
"This seems to me a higher order of feminism than repeating the story of woman as victim... Kate Chopin gives her female protagonist the central role, normally reserved for Man, in a meditation on identity and culture, consciousness and art." -- From the introduction by Marilynne Robinson.
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