Photograph of American novelist Kate Chopin.

Kate Chopin

(1851 - 1904)

Widowed at the age of thirty-one in 1883, Kate Chopin was left to care for six children and to settle her family’s sizable debt. In 1894 she published her first story collection, Bayou Folk, to critical acclaim, although she noted in her diary that the thoughtful reviews “might be counted upon the fingers of one hand.” Her novel The Awakening appeared in 1899; for its frank discussion of female sexuality, one newspaper called it “gilded dirt,” while the New York Times elected instead to list it among “100 Books for Summer Reading” in the category “A Group of Female Novelists,” admitting that the novel’s heroine, Edna Pontellier, aroused “pity for the most unfortunate of her sex.” Various publishing houses declined her last story collection, and Chopin died in 1904.

All Writing

Voices In Time

c. 1895 | Grand Isle, LA

Last Swim

Kate Chopin describes a drowning.More

Issues Contributed