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Over one long, languid summer Edna Pontellier, fettered by marriage and motherhood, becomes acquainted with Robert Lebrun. As the days shorten and the temperature drops Edna succumbs to Robert's devotion. But as her desire grows so too does her discontentment - with the role society has forced her to play and with the bonds that hold her fast - and her world begins to unravel with devastating consequences . . .
The Awakening is widely regarded as one of the forerunners of feminist literature alongside Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Flaubert's Madame Bovary. First published in the United States in 1899, this radical novel sent shockwaves through American society and continues to speak to readers over a hundred years later. This tender, brilliant, and seductive novel is as beautifully written as it is politically engaging.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
The Awakening is not only one of the most important novels in the history of American women's writing, it is an acknowledged American masterpiece . . . Chopin offers a compelling portrait of female experience, one of the first of its kind -- SARAH CHURCHWELL I still marvel at Chopin's realism, her impatience with conventional trappings, her arresting honesty -- BARBARA KINGSOLVER Chopin's deceptively slight novel is the kind of book revolutions are made of . . . Reissued with a forward by Barbara Kingsolver, this angry, eye-opening novel is well worth adding to your reading list * * Harper's Bazaar * * Even more powerful than I remembered -- MARGARET DRABBLE A Creole Bovary is this little novel of Miss Chopin's -- WILLA CATHER Chopin's slight, brittle and fierce novel became a classic and a cult, shocking readers with its candid and unsentimental portrait of marital infidelity . . . it remains delicately bitter and acidly angry * * Observer * * Incisive, brilliant and haunting -- MAGGIE O'FARRELL This landmark feminist novel, first published in 1899, remains startlingly relevant -- JUDY BLUME, My Life in Books * * Elle * * Sometimes bold, fearless writing really does have to wait for 'someone in some future time' for readers yet to come. Sleeping Beauties, once awakened, will always serve a contemporary agenda. But Chopin's The Awakening is now justly regarded as an American classic and read with passion and delight * * Literary Review * * Plucky and masterly * * The Lady * * A quietly explosive study of female impotence, it is quite superb * * Independent on Sunday * *