The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

2016 Group Reads - Archives > The Awakening - Background Information

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message 1: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4460 comments Mod
Please put any background info here.

message 2: by Gem , Moderator (last edited Oct 21, 2016 05:20PM) (new)

Gem  | 685 comments Mod
The novel was begun in 1897 and completed on January 21, 1898. Kate Chopin’s original title was A Solitary Soul. It was published as The Awakening by Herbert S. Stone & Company in Chicago on April 22, 1899.

The Awakening is set in the late nineteenth century on Grand Isle, off the coast of Louisiana; on the island Chênière Caminada across the bay from Grand Isle (the island was destroyed in an 1893 hurricane); and in the city of New Orleans. It begins on Grand Isle, shifts to New Orleans, and concludes on Grand Isle

Readers and scholars have been discussing the novel’s themes for a hundred years, and their views vary widely. Early critics condemned the book for its amoral treatment of adultery, and some readers today share that view. But from the 1960s on, most scholars and readers in the USA and many other nations have come to think of Kate Chopin as “the first woman writer in her country to accept passion as a legitimate subject for serious, outspoken fiction,” to cite the words of Per Seyersted, and they see Chopin as one of America’s essential authors. The closing chapter in the recent Cambridge Companion to Kate Chopin describes the full range of ideas people have found in the novel since its publication.

(The above taken from

message 3: by Lily (last edited Oct 21, 2016 06:07PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments The Cambridge Companion to Kate Chopin by Janet Beer The Cambridge Companion to Kate Chopin by Janet Beer

If you click on Ms. Beer's name, the list of her publications suggest she is a specialist on the life of Ms. Chopin (and on Edith Wharton).

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The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910

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The Cambridge Companion to Kate Chopin (other topics)

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Janet Beer (other topics)