20 August 2009

The Awakening and Other Stories

Kate Chopin was an American writer who is now best known for her novel The Awakening (1899) which was 're-discovered' in the 1960s. But in fact she was a professional and quite successful author in her own lifetime who earned part of her living by placing her short stories with magazines. Her stories embrace the modern tradition, created in the late nineteenth century, of describing situations or dramatic episodes, then leaving them to speak for themselves. Without doubt she was what many people would call 'ahead of her time'. It is no surprise that with the reassertion of women's rightful place in cultural history which occurred in the 1960s, she was seen as an unjustly neglected figure. And reading her stories today, it's amazing how fresh and modern they seem, My guess is that she will now retain her place in the literary canon... Read more >>



skipper said...

Good review Roy. Made me want to read some of these stories. I thought short stories were in decline and had been for decades but I suppose the acclaim given recently to Alice Munroe suggests otherwise.

MANTEX said...

Well worth a read Skip! And 'The Awakening' is rightly regarded as something of a re-discovered classic.

Short stories are in *commercial* decline - but people go on writing them as much as ever.

They just don't sell as well as even the most mundane pot-boiling novel - as the shelves of any library or charity shop prove.