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Kate Chopin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Desiree's Baby (1893)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Story of an Hour (1894)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Pair of Silk Stockings (1897)Description / Buy at Amazon
Athenaise (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Story of Regret (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

A Shameful Affair and Other Stories (1891)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Father of Desiree's Baby and Other Stories (1893)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kiss and Other Stories (1897)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Complete Works of Kate Chopin (1899)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Vocation and a Voice (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Matter of Prejudice and Other Stories (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Awakening & Other Stories (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Pair of Silk Stockings and Other Stories (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kate Chopin's Private Papers (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Awakening and Selected Stories (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lilacs and Other Stories (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Night in Acadie (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Collection of Kate Chopin's Short Stories (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bayou Folk and A Night in Acadie and Other Stories (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
A December Day in Dixie and Other Works (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Storm, Dead Men's Shoes and Other Short Stories (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nine Stories (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Women and Fiction(1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
A World of Fiction(1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Louisiana Stories(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Short Story: 30 Masterpieces(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stories to Get You Through the Night(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Short Stories by American Women(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Penguin Book of Erotic Stories By Women(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life Is Short – Art Is Shorter: In Praise of Brevity(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kate Chopin is a fiction author best known for her debut novel “The Awakening” and several short stories. She was born in St. Louis in 1850 to a French Creole mother and an immigrant Irish father. Her father was part of the elite in the city and was of middle-class extraction. The family had a tradition of living together in the same house and Kate remembers that as a child she had four generations of women in the same house. Growing up, she was very close to Madame Charleville her maternal great grandmother that was the person that introduced her to storytelling. From her grandmother, she heard risqué and elaborate stories told in the French language a Madame Charleville did not speak a word of English. While she had lost her father to an industrial accident while very young, family tragedy continued to dog her life. As an eleven-year-old, she lost her grandmother, and her brother George also died fighting for the Confederates in the Civil War. But she never despaired and she became known as the “Littlest Rebel,” when her reputation as the girl that tore down the Union flag spread around her hometown and made her legend.

In her teenage years, Kate Chopin went to a Catholic high school and studied English and French literature and also become a skillful pianist. She was a regular at social events on St Louis and was one of the most popular women in town. She was also interested in the women’s movement seeking universal suffrage even though she as never that active int heir politics. As a nineteen-year-old, she got married to a twenty-five-year-old French-Creole businessman named Oscar Chopin and the two moved to New Orleans before settling in the north-central Louisianan town of Clouterville. The two had a happy marriage and were soon immersed in the social life of the aristocrats of Louisianan society just like the lead protagonists of her novel “The Awakening.” While Kate was an unconventional woman that drank, smoked, and behaved in ways alien to her husband’s relatives, Oscar always treated her like an intellectual equal. Her husband died of swamp fever in 1883 leaving her with six children. Luckily, she had been left with significant wealth and she managed Oscar’s businesses while she tried to find something to do. During this time, she leaned on Dr. Frederick Kolbenheyer a close friend who would play a significant part in his life. With his influence, she started studying science and it was not long before she was writing and publishing novels and short stories.

Chopin published “At Fault” her debut novel in 1890. Before this, she had several of her short fiction published in a variety of magazines. “Desiree’s Baby” was among one of her most popular stories that were published in Bayou Folk a short story collection. The novel tells of the chaos and family fight that ensues when a white woman gives birth to a multiracial child. Her novel “The Story of an Hour” detailed the feelings of exhilaration from a woman that learned of her husband’s death and is looking forward to becoming independent. “A Night in Acadie” which is another of her most popular collections was published in 1897. Chopin was known for writing spontaneous fiction and according to her friends, most of her short fiction would usually be written all at once and she hardly did any revision. She also loved to write from her living room where she would often be distracted by her children and guests. Apart from her writing which she did once or twice a week Kate also loves music and went to theatrical and musical performances when she had time. Her stories are for the most part about marriage though it is an unconventional take on the institution. Chopin’s characters often have to choose between following the path ordained for them by society or doing what they desire. After much controversy from the publishing of her debut novel “The Awakening,” she went on to publish seven short stories in the two years between 1902 and 1904. She died of a stroke in 1904 while on a visit to the World Fair in St Louis.

Kate Chopin’s debut novel “The Awakening,” a young married woman is forced to move away from what she is used to and has to learn a new Creole culture in New Orleans. Edna Pontellier is used to American life rather than the European one that is the norm in New Orleans. In New Orleans, old beliefs on how women are supposed to behave are very much alive. Luckily, her husband often takes the family on vacation off the mainland where she does not have to follow the rules for a few weeks. She had grown up with a toddy drinking, gambling, pious talking but hypocritical father who acted like a total jerk and atoned for it on Sunday services. Edna had thus developed a split personality disorder as she wanted to be a good and pious woman, which explains the fact that she stayed in a loveless marriage for more than a decade. However, there was another side to her that was wild and passionate that came out when she traveled to Grand Ilse and met Robert Lebrun. Once she goes back to the mainland, Edna finds herself bored with housekeeping and life of motherhood. She no longer wants to be the dutiful wife but wants the independence to do whatever she likes. She remembers the handsome Robert from the island and the attention he gave her and cannot wait to experience it again.

Kate Chopin’s “At Fault” is the story of Fanny, an alcoholic who is married to David Hosmer. The couple used to live in St Louis but they are now divorced and Hosmer moved away and now works for Therese Lafirme, a widowed woman. Hosmer soon falls in love with his employer but Therese is unable to reciprocate as she feels a sense of moral duty to the wife he had left behind in St Louis. Hosmer then remarries Fanny given that he has come to believe that she is sick and that he is the only man that could care for her. Even though they remarry they still hate each other’s guts and are forever fighting. Set in the bayou of Louisiana, it is a remarkable story dealing with themes of drowning, divorce, arson, adultery, civil war, murder, racism, alcoholism, a marriage full of love, and some full of hate.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kate Chopin

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