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 the more important writers of her time since being rediscovered in the 1970s by feminist scholars. In fact, the copy you see here, its margins full of handwritten notes, was the very one my mother used in one of her literature courses when she went back to college in the mid-70s. It's also the one I used when I read Chopin in a class at the same university 10 or 12 years later. From mother to son. ❤️