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Editor: Robert C. Evans
January 2014 · 1 volume · 300 pages · 6"x9"
An exploration of the most up-to–date collection of scholarly thinking on Kate Chopin’s The Awakening from numerous critical perspectives. .
Edited by Robert C. Evans, I. B. Young Professor of English at Auburn University at Montgomery, this volume presents a variety of new essays on Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.
This classic novella, published in 1899, is considered a landmark work of early feminism. It appears in practically every anthology of American literature, and it is one of the most widely taught of all American novels. It was strongly criticized for its depictions of female sexual desire and for featuring a protagonist who resisted social norms and traditional gender roles. This volume offers much new and sometimes startling archival information about the novel and about Chopin’s life and career. It surveys previous criticism of the work but also offers a variety of new approaches from various critical perspectives. Essays relate the novel to such topics as race, humor, Chopin’s life, impressionist painting, irony and close reading, tourism and landscapes, regionalism and naturalism, and folly and engendered discourse. Chopin’s novel is compared to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and several essays are intended to be highly accessible to students and of genuine value to teachers. Some essayists defend the novel against attacks on its artistic success and/or explain why it is worth reading at all. Contributors include such distinguished Chopin scholars as Robert D. Arner, Janet Beer, Thomas Bonner, Jr., Stephen Paul Bray, Joyce Dyer, Sarah Fredericks, Helena Goodwyn, Bernard Koloski, Courtney Lane Rottgering, Jeffrey Melton, Mary E. Papke, Peter J. Ramos, Julieann Veronica Ulin and David Z. Wehner. Rounding out the volume is a bibliography of critical sources for readers seeking to study this work in greater depth.