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Public domain photograph of Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin (1850-1904)

Literary criticism and analysis for the 19th-century American novelist and short-story writer Kate Chopin. Academic web sites and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Introduction & Biography

The Kate Chopin International Society, Includes a biography, Chopin's themes, on The Awakening, on the short stories "The Storm"; "The Story of an Hour"; "Athénaïse"; "Désirée's Baby"; "A Respectable Woman"; "A Pair of Silk Stockings"; "Lilacs"; and "At the 'Cadian Ball." Also discussion questions, where to find an accurate text, and a recommended reading list. An excellent job, a model web site for online literary studies. Academic web site, edited by Prof. Bernard Koloski.

"Kate Chopin." A very brief introduction to Kate Chopin. Also a teaching guide. From the college textbook publisher the Heath Anthology of American Literature.

"Kate Chopin: 'Désirée's Baby.'" Lectures on this short story cover Chopin's themes, images, and how to write a paper about it. Additional lectures on "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour" (scroll down for Kate Chopin, see also sidebar). By Prof. Terezinha Fonseca, from educational publisher Pearson/Longman.

"Kate Chopin." A biography covers Kate Chopin's early years, literary career, last years and legacy. From educational publisher Pearson Literature.

"Kate Chopin: A Re-Awakening." A web site provides an overview of Kate Chopin's life, also includes interviews with experts who discuss her Catholic burial, her modernism, feminism, her black characters and view of slavery, and more. Web site from PBS, 1999.

"The American Novel: 1890s-1920s Naturalism." An overview of an important movement in the American novel from the 1890s until the 1920s, which is strongly associated with realism. On the origins of naturalism and some famous American novelists considered naturalistic, including Jack London, John Steinbeck, and Kate Chopin. Web site from PBS.

"Regionalism and Local Color Fiction, 1865-1895." Covers American literature that focused on characters, dialect, customs, topography, and other features particular to a specific region between the Civil War and the end of the nineteenth century. Ed. by Prof. Donna Campbell, academic web site.

Scullion, Val. "Kate Chopin." An introduction to Kate Chopin from a reference site that provides signed literary criticism by experts in their field and is available to individuals for a reasonably-priced subscription. Literary Encyclopedia [subscription service].

Literary Criticism

Anderson, Maureen. "Unraveling the Southern Pastoral Tradition: A New Look at Kate Chopin's At Fault." On Chopin's first novel. The Southern Literary Journal 34, 1 (Fall 2001) pp 1-13 [preview or purchase, jstor].

Bender, Bert. "Kate Chopin's Quarrel with Darwin before The Awakening." Journal of American Studies 26, 2 (Aug. 1992) pp 185-204 [preview or purchase, jstor].

Berkove, Lawrence L. "Fatal Self-Assertion in Kate Chopin's 'The Story of an Hour.'" American Literary Realism 32, 2 (Winter 2000) pp 152-58 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Bucher, Christina. "Perversely Reading Kate Chopin's 'Fedora.'" On Chopin's 1895 short story, orig. titled "The Falling in Love of Fedora." Mississippi Quarterly 56, 3 (Summer 2003) [sub ser, questia].

Burns, Karin Garlepp. "The Paradox of Objectivity in the Realist Fiction of Edith Wharton and Kate Chopin." Journal of Narrative Theory 29, 1 (Winter 1999) pp 27-61 [first page only, muse].

Fletcher, Marie. "The Southern Woman in the Fiction of Kate Chopin." Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 7, 2 (Spring 1966) pp 117-32 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Holtman, Janet. "Failing Fictions: The Conflicting and Shifting Social Emphases of Kate Chopin's 'Local Color'" Stories. On the short stories in Bayou Folk and A Night in Acadie. From Southern Quarterly 42, 2 (Winter 2004) pp 73-88 [sub ser, questia].

Howell, Elmo. "Kate Chopin and the Creole Country." Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 20, 2 (Spring 1979) pp 209-19 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Llewellyn, Dara. "Reader Activation of Boundaries in Kate Chopin's 'Beyond the Bayou.'" Llewellyn contends that the concept of boundary can shed light on Kate Chopin's short story "Beyond the Bayou." Studies in Short Fiction 33, 2 (Spring 1996) [sub ser, questia].

Potter, Richard H. "Negroes in the Fiction of Kate Chopin." Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 12, 1 (Winter 1971) pp 41-58 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Toth, Emily. Unveiling Kate Chopin (UP of Mississippi 1999). Literary criticism, complete book available [questia sub ser].

Wehner, David Z. "'A Lot Up For Grabs': The Idiosyncratic, Syncretic Religious Temperament of Kate Chopin." On the important place of religion in her writing. American Literary Realism 43, 2 (winter 2011) pp 154-68 [substantial excerpt, muse].

The Awakening Literary Criticism

Birnbaum, Michele A. "'Alien Hands': Kate Chopin and the Colonization of Race." On questions about feminism, race, and class for a reader of The Awakening. In American Literature 66, 2 (June 1994) pp 301-23 [preview or purchase, jstor].

Bunch, Dianne. "Dangerous spending habits: The epistemology of Edna Pontellier's extravagant expenditures in The Awakening." From Mississippi Quarterly 55 (2001) pp 43-61 [sub ser, questia].

Gilbert, Sandra M. "The Second Coming of Aphrodite: Kate Chopin's Fantasy of Desire." The Kenyon Review 5, 3 (Summer 1983) pp 42-66 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Harmon, Charles. "'Abysses of solitude': Acting naturally in Vogue and The Awakening." Harmon contends that "by juxtaposing The Awakening to Vogue [magazine], it is possible to demonstrate that American culture during Chopin's era communicated a mixed yet finally overwhelmingly violent message to its women." College Literature (Fall 1998) [sub ser, highbeam].

Hoder-Salmon, Marilyn. Kate Chopin's The Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation." (UP of Florida 1992). On film and video adaptions of The Awakening. Complete book available [sub ser, questia].

Mikolchak, Maria. "Kate Chopin's The Awakening as Part of the Nineteenth-Century American Literary Tradition." Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 5, 2 (Spring 2004) pp 29-49 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Parmiter, Tara K. "Taking the Waters: The Summer Place and Women's Health in Kate Chopin's The Awakening." American Literary Realism 39, 1 (Fall 2006) pp 1-19 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Pizer, Donald. "A Note on Kate Chopin's The Awakening as Naturalistic Fiction." The Southern Literary Journal 33, 2 (Spring 2001) pp 5-13 [substantial extract, muse].

Rich, Charlotte."Reconsidering The Awakening: The literary sisterhood of Kate Chopin and George Egerton." On connections between Chopin, Aubrey Beardsley, and the decadent literary quarterly The Yellow Book. In Southern Quarterly 41, 3 (Spring 2003) [sub ser, questia].

Ringe, Donald A. "Romantic Imagery in Kate Chopin's The Awakening." American Literature 43, 4 (Jan. 1972) pp 580-88 [preview or purchase, jstor].

Treu, Robert "Surviving Edna: A reading of the ending of The Awakening." In College Literature Spring 2000 [sub ser, highbeam].

Wolff, Cynthia Griffin. "Thanatos and Eros: Kate Chopin's The Awakening." On Chopin as an early advocate of women's rights. American Quarterly 25, 4 (Oct. 1973) pp 449-71 [preview or purchase, jstor].

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