In the decade before the appearance of her landmark novel, The Awakening, Kate Chopin published Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), collections of stories set in New Orleans and rural Louisiana. Celebrations of people in their communities, the forty-four stories here depict a diversity of characters: Creoles, Acadians, and "Americans," people of color and of mixed blood, Native Americans and immigrants, adults and children, the educated and the illiterate, the rich and the poor. Some stories focus on the restrictions women face as they seek self-fulfillment - a theme Chopin would develop fully in The Awakening - but many show people striving to establish better lives amid the devastation following the Civil War. With a compassionate, knowing gaze, Chopin not only evokes the distant world of plantations and 'Cadian balls, but also anticipates the thoroughly modern, multi-ethnic, gender-sensitive, and sexually charged world that we know today.
In one volume, the two short-story collections that established Kate Chopin as one of America's best-loved realist writers.
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Kate Chopin (18501904) was born in St. Louis. She moved to Louisiana where she wrote two novels and numerous stories. Because The Awakening was widely condemned, publication of Chopins third story collection was cancelled. The Awakening was rediscovered by scholars in the 1960s and 1970s and is her best-known work.