The intent of this volume is to give scholars, students, and others interested in the study of Kate Chopin and her works an overview of the critical work that has appeared during the past two decades. The coverage of this volume begins in 1976, where the first survey of Chopin criticism, Marlene Springer volume Edith Wharton and Kate Chopin: A Reference Guide leaves off.
As the title indicates, the bulk of the volume consists of enumerated and annotated entries for each of Chopin's works that appeared between 1976 and 1998, and also includes annotations of major books and essays which are scheduled to appear in 1999 as this volume goes to press. In addition, this volume contains two biblio- critical essays, a selective primary bibliography and a critical introduction by Pulitzer Prize nominated biographer Emily Toth. Toth essay, "Kate Chopin's Life and Literary Career" provides a discussion of Chopin's life and focuses specifically on new biographical data that she has discovered since the publication of her comprehensive Chopin biography in 1990. "Where Are We Going? Where Have We Been? Twenty Years of Chopin Criticism," by Suzanne Disheroon Green , offers a survey of the critical studies of Chopin's works and suggests an organizational structure for the large body of scholarly study. "The Fall and Rise of Kate Chopin and Her Works," by David J. Caudle, examines the early critical reception of Kate Chopin's fiction, focusing particularly on The Awakening and its later rise to prominence in American letters.
The enumerative entries in this volume are prepared in accordance with the second edition of the MLA Style Manual. While we have attempted to include annotations for each study enumerated in this volume, for a variety of reasons, we were unable to obtain six items. These few items are enumerated but not annotated.