American writer of the late 19th century, lived 1851-1904. Many of her nineteenth-century stories were considered shocking and explored taboo subjects including: miscegenation, divorce and female sexuality.

Although she did not begin her writing career until thirty-nine, Kate was quite prolific and in a decade published 95 short stories, 2 novels, 1 play and 8 essays of literary criticism. Kate's first novel At Fault dealt with alcoholism and divorce and had an unusually strong female protagonist, It was considered daring in 1890, although the novel attracted almost no attention initially.

Many of her adult stories, including "The Story of an Hour, "A Pair of Silk Stocking" and her novel The Awakening feature wives and mothers who feel enslaved. Chopin also dealt with the taboo subject of miscegenation in "Desiree's Baby" and the horrible life of a slave under even the best mistress in "La Belle Zoraide".

The Awakening was met with considerable hostility, even outrage, from readers, critics and library censors when it was published in 1899. Some of this outrage seems to stem from the fact that Chopin allowed her protagoniast, Edna Pontellier to take control of her life and did not criticize her for doing so. Chopin's career was ended and she died 5 years later. Her work was largely ignored until 1969 when The Complete Works of Kate Chopin were published.

Some biographical details taken from The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume Two, Paul Lauter General Editor, Copyright 1994.