The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899.
Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the nineteenth century, the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century American South.
It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women’s issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism, generating mixed reaction from contemporary readers and criticism. The novel’s blend of realistic narrative, incisive social commentary, and psychological complexity makes The Awakening a precursor of American modernist literature; it prefigures the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway and echoes the works of contemporaries such as Edith Wharton and Henry James.
It can also be considered among the first Southern works in a tradition that would culminate with the modern masterpieces of Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Tennessee Williams.
It’s with no small degree of embarrassment that I have to admit that I’ve lost the write up from our conversation about this book and as it was quite a while ago, I can’t remember enough details to successfully fake it!
As you can see from the score, it was one that impacted on us all greatly. Tomorrow, I shall beg/cajole/threaten* LBC3Read members and see if one of them can provide a mini-review of this.
Please find below copies of ebook versions of the The Awakening
The Awakening - Kate Chopin - Project Gutenberg
The Awakening – Kate Chopin – iTunes
*There will be no threatening