Kate Chopin brief bio - Marblehead High School

Kate Chopin
Born: 8 February 1851
Died: 22 August 1904(cerebral hemorrhage/stroke)
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
Best known as: Author of The Awakening
Name at birth: Katherine O'Flaherty
Kate Chopin was an American novelist and short-story writer best known for her startling 1899 novel,
The Awakening. Born in St. Louis, she grew up in a home with her great-grandmother (storyteller
Madame Charleville), grandmother, and mother after her father died. She moved to New Orleans after
marrying Oscar Chopin in 1870. Less than a decade later, Oscar's cotton business fell on hard times and
they moved to his family's plantation in the Natchitoches Parish of northwestern Louisiana. Oscar died in
1882 and Kate was suddenly a young widow with six children. She turned to writing and published her
first poem in 1889. The Awakening, considered Chopin's masterpiece, was subject to harsh criticism at the
time for its frank approach to sexual themes. It was rediscovered in the 1960s and has since become a
standard of American literature, appreciated for its sophistication and artistry. Chopin's short stories of
Cajun and Creole life are collected in Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), and include
"Desiree's Baby," "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm."