Kate Chopin’s classic, an American Anna Karenina, joins Canongate’s Canons series. With an introduction by Barbara Kingsolver
‘Introducing this release of The Awakening has given me an opportunity to re-experience one of my life’s important books … I still marvel at Chopin’s realism, her impatience with conventional trappings, her arresting honesty’ BARBARA KINGSOLVER
‘Incisive, brilliant and haunting’ MAGGIE O’FARRELL
Over one long, languid summer Edna Pontellier, fettered by marriage and motherhood, becomes acquainted with Robert Lebrun. As the days shorten and the temperature drops Edna succumbs to Robert’s devotion. But as her desire grows so too does her discontentment - with the role society has forced her to play and with the bonds that hold her fast - and her world begins to unravel with devastating consequences…
The Awakening is widely regarded as one of the forerunners of feminist literature alongside Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. First published in the United States in 1899, this radical novel sent shockwaves through American society and continues to speak to readers over a hundred years later. This tender, brilliant, and seductive novel is as beautifully written as it is politically engaging.
“The Awakening is not only one of the most important novels in the history of American women’s writing, it is an acknowledged American masterpiece … Chopin offers a compelling portrait of female experience, one of the first of its kind”
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“Chopin’s deceptively slight novel is the kind of book revolutions are made of … Reissued with a forward by Barbara Kingsolver, this angry, eye-opening novel is well worth adding to your reading list”
“Even more powerful than I remembered”
“A Creole Bovary is this little novel of Miss Chopin’s”
“Chopin’s slight, brittle and fierce novel became a classic and a cult, shocking readers with its candid and unsentimental portrait of marital infidelity … it remains delicately bitter and acidly angry”
Kate Chopin, born Katherine O’Flaherty in 1850, was one of the most individual and adventurous of nineteenth-century American writers, whose fiction explored new and often startling territory. She is the author of two novels, The Awakening and My Fault, and several short stories.