Although she enjoyed only modest success during her lifetime, Kate Chopin is w recognised as a unique voice in American literature. Her seminal vel, The Awakening, published in 1899, explored new and startling territory, and stunned readers with its frank depiction of the limits of marriage and motherhood. Chopin's aesthetic tastes and cultural influences were drawn from both the European and American traditions, and her manipulation of her 'foreignness' contributed to the composition of a complex voice that was strikingly different to that of her contemporaries. The essays in this Companion treat a wide range of Chopin's stories and vels, drawing her relationship with other writers, genres and literary developments, and pay close attention to the transatlantic dimension of her work. The result is a collection that brings a fresh perspective to Chopin's writing, one that will appeal to researchers and students of American, nineteenth-century, and feminist literature.
Professor Janet Beer is Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.