First published in 1899, this beautiful, brief novel so disturbed critics & the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read & admired, The Awakening has been hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation. This sensuous book tells of a woman's abandonment of her family, her seduction, & her awakening to desires & passions that threatened to consumer her. Originally entitled "A Solitary Soul," this portrait of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier is a landmark in American fiction, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of Herman Melville & Emily Dickinson. Here, a woman in search of self-discovery turns away from convention & society, & toward the primal, from convention & society, & toward the primal, irresistibly attracted to nature & the senses The Awakening, Kate Chopin's last novel, has been praised by Edmund Wilson as "beautifully written." And Willa Cather described its style as "exquisite," "sensitive," & "iridescent." This edition of The Awakening also includes a selection of short stories by Kate Chopin. "This seems to me a higher order of feminism than repeating the story of woman as victim ... Kate Chopin gives her female protagonist the central role, normally reserved for Man, in a meditation on identity & culture, consciousness & art."--The introduction by Marilynne Robinson.