Kate Chopin was born today in 1850. The Awakening (1899), a novel, is her essential work, and "The Story of an Hour" (1894) among the briefest, bleakest, most haunting of American stories. They are the best of her studies of women who, more than rebelling against the limits of bourgeois marriage and sexist society, simply can't bend to them.
In her own day, some reviled Kate Chopin, some admired her, and most did not think of her. But she has been firmly established among th