Kate Chopin

Chopin, Kate O'Flaherty

Kate O'Flaherty Chopin (shō´păn´), 1851–1904, American author, b. St. Louis. Of Creole-Irish descent, she married (1870) a Louisiana businessman and lived with him in Natchitoches parish and New Orleans. In these places she acquired an intimate knowledge of Creole and Cajun life, upon which she was to draw in many of her stories. After her husband's death in 1883, she returned with their six children to St. Louis and there began to write. Two collections of tales, Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), earned her a reputation as a local colorist, but her novel The Awakening (1899) caused a storm of criticism because of its treatment of feminine sexuality. In depicting objectively a woman's confused groping toward self-understanding and self-acceptance, Chopin seemed to threaten the mores of her time although she did not explicitly attack them. Largely ignored for the next 60 years, her work is now praised for its literary merit as well as for its remarkable independence of mind and feeling.

See her complete works, ed. by P. Seyersted (2 vol., 1969) and ed. by S. M. Gilbert (2002); her private papers, ed. by E. Toth et al. (1998); T. Bonner, Jr., The Kate Chopin Companion (1988); biographies by E. Toth (1988 and 1999).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Kate Chopin: Selected full-text books and articles

Unveiling Kate Chopin By Emily Toth University Press of Mississippi, 1999
The Awakening, and Other Stories By Kate Chopin; Pamela Knights Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Desiree's Baby" begins on p. 193 and "Story of an Hour" begins on p. 259
CliffsNotes on Chopin's The Awakening By Maureen Kelly Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999
Kate Chopin's The Awakening: A Sourcebook By Janet Beer; Elizabeth Nolan Routledge, 2004
Kate Chopin's Narrative Techniques and Separate Space in the Awakening By Mou, Xianfeng The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 44, No. 1, Fall 2011
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Reconsidering the Awakening: The Literary Sisterhood of Kate Chopin and George Egerton By Rich, Charlotte Southern Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3, Spring 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Kate Chopin and the Fiction of Limits: "Desiree's Baby" By Wolff, Cynthia Griffin The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 10, No. 2, Spring 1978
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
"Her First Party" as Her Last Story: Recovering Kate Chopin's Fiction By Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Vol. 30, No. 2, June 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
"A Group of People at My Disposal": Humor in the Works of Kate Chopin By Walker, Nancy Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Vol. 17, No. 1, January 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Fashioning the Hybrid Woman in Kate Chopin's the Awakening By Mathews, Carolyn L Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 35, No. 3, September 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Unruly Tongue: Identity and Voice in American Women's Writing, 1850-1930 By Martha J. Cutter University Press of Mississippi, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Search for a Feminine Voice in the Works of Kate Chopin"
Regions of Identity: The Construction of America in Women's Fiction, 1885-1914 By Kate McCullough Stanford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Kate Chopin and (Stretching) the Limits of Local Color Fiction"
Adele Ratignolle: Kate Chopin's Feminist at Home in the Awakening By Streater, Kathleen M The Midwest Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 3, Spring 2007
Race, Rape, and Lynching: The Red Record of American Literature, 1890-1912 By Sandra Gunning Oxford University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Four "Rethinking White Female Silences: Kate Chopin's Local Color Fiction and the Politics of White Supremacy"
Kate Chopin's "One Story": Casting a Shadowy Glance on the Ethics of Regionalism By Staunton, John A Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 28, No. 2, Autumn 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Descent of Love: Darwin and the Theory of Sexual Selection in American Fiction, 1871-1926 By Bert Bender University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Kate Chopin's Quarrel with Darwin before The Awakening" and Chap. 8 "The Teeth of Desire: The Awakening and The Descent of Man"
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