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Kate Chopin: Complete Novels and Stories: At Fault / Bayou Folk / A Night in Acadie / The Awakening / Uncollected Stories (Library of America) Hardcover – September 30, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kate Chopin (1850–1904) was born in St. Louis. She moved to Louisiana where she wrote two novels and numerous stories. Because The Awakening was widely condemned, publication of Chopin’s third story collection was cancelled. The Awakening was rediscovered by scholars in the 1960s and 1970s and is her best-known work.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1075 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; First Printing edition (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931082219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931082211
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the late 1800s, Kate Chopin set the literary world on fire with her now-classic novel "The Awakening." But that wasn't by any means the only writing Chopin did. "Complete Novels and Stories" brings together the assorted writings that Chopin did, before le scandale caused her to swear off writing forever.

Her first novel "At Fault" was apparently something of a roman a clef -- a thirtysomething Creole woman is widowed, and takes over the family estate. She falls in love with a businessman, David -- but he is divorced, and her strong Catholic beliefs don't allow her to marry a divorced man.

"Awakening" was the novel that outraged the Victorian morals and sensibilities of the time, and tragically ended Chopin's writing career. Beautiful wife and mother Edna Pontellier has it all: a wealthy husband, cute kids, beautiful house... and yet she is dissatisfied. So Edna begins dabbling in painting and extramarital flirtations, with tragic results.

"Bayou Folk" and a "Night in Acadie" are collections of short stories, centered in New Orleans and the areas of Louisiana nearby. Breakups, romance, death, marital dissatisfaction, freedom, racism and other still-touchy topics are explored in these stories, although bits of humor do intrude from time to time, such as the very short "Old Aunt Peggy," about an ancient black woman who astonishes everyone by never dying. Added on to these are a number of uncollected stories.

It takes a lot to make a book "scandalous" now, but in the late 1800s -- the height of the Victorian era -- it was painfully easy. There's nothing shocking in Chopin's writing by current standards, leaving her writing as a grave look at human nature. In that sense, Chopin's stories are truly timeless, and not just for women.
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This book is a great collection of Kate Chopin's writings. Chopin truly has a way of portraying women in her writings much differently than society in her day believed they should be. If you read her works knowing this, you will come to respect her work the way I have. I believe that in a time when women weren't allowed to speak out on the injustice they faced in society, and the belief that they couldn't be independent sexual creatures, Kate Chopin was making a stand in her writings to express how complex, independent, and sexual they really were. She is an amazing writer and this is an amazing collection.
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Kate Chopin had guts. She was an independent thinker that valued her individuality and free spirit.
She never shied away from tough topics such as the role of women in marriage and society, race, and the power of the individual and all done in a thought-provoking, fearless and often deft-penned manner.

I have much respect for her as a person and, most of all, her writings.

If you have already read her work and like it, by all means this is a great book to have.
If you haven't read her work, read one of her short stories, The Story of an Hour or Desiree's Baby, to see if you like it. If you're hooked, this is a great book that gives you her work in one wonderful volume.

Enjoy!
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Great edition, though like other Library of America titles, an introduction or some sort of presence of editorship would serve it well. Chopin is an excellent writer and one worth reading. Beautiful edition, including a ribbon to save your place, and easy to read well. This would make an excellent gift for someone you know who is a fan of 19th century American literature or wants to know more about women writers before they began to make up a large portion of all authors being published.
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All of Chopin's writing is excellent, especially for those who have knowledge of south Louisiana and a sense of history. However, this edition has many problems. Beginning after the initial novel presented, 'At Fault', the formatting becomes progressively worse until it gets to a point where it is obvious that the text was scanned in using character recognition software without making any attempt to correct mistakes. Some of the stories were so badly formatted I gave up on them and skipped them. I went back in and purchased 'Kate Chopin Collection - Annotated Classics'. I have not actually begun reading it yet but I have checked the formatting throughout and it appears to be well done. It also includes selected short stories that appear to be missing from this version as well as what may be some interesting and valuable annotations.
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Excellent book written by a very independent woman of the late 1800's So much so she was ostrasized for her writings.The female liberation movement of the 1960's brought her writing back to new generations of women.She is more appreciated by today's women for her views. The Awakening is the best story in the book,but all of Chopin's stories are memorable and worth the read!
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This is one of the fine books in the Library of America series, essential to anyone who wishes to read all literature by Kate Chopin. It is the only complete anthology of her fiction.
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Great reads, as are many of her stories. I love short stories, and am jumping the gun by not finishing before writing the review for this book. But, so far, it is excellent.
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