Damned upon publication for engaging with the taboo issues of female sexuality and infidelity, Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899) is now hailed as a key early feminist text and an important work of American literature.
This sourcebook combines accessible commentary with reprinted documents to provide the ideal introduction to this widely debated novel. The editors offer:
* extensive coverage of the contexts to the work, including biographical information on Chopin and the social and historical backgrounds to her writing
* an outline of the critical reception of the novel from the early reviews to contemporary debates, and extracts from influential essays
* selected chapters of the original text, reproduced with extensive commentary on key issues and suggestions on links with contextual and critical materials
* a guide to further reading, ideal for extended independent study.
Providing all the tools for engaged, informed individual analysis of the text, this sourcebook will greatly enrich any reading of The Awakening. It is an essential starting point for students of American literature and women's writing, or for anyone fascinated by Chopin's controversial work.
'A Clear concise and convincing analysis of the works position in the critical canon of American Literature.' - European Journal of English Studies
'A reader friendly critical study of an American Masterpiece.' - Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany.