American author Kate Chopin (1850–1904) wrote two novels and about a hundred short stories in the 1890s. Most of her fiction is set in Louisiana and most of her best-known work focuses on the lives of sensitive, intelligent women.
Her short stories were well received in her own time and were published by some of America's most prestigious magazines—Vogue, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Young People, Youth's Companion, and the Century. A few stories were syndicated by the American Press Association. Her stories also appeared in her two published anthologies, Bayou Folk and A Night in Acadie, both of which received good reviews from critics across the country. About a third of her stories are children's stories—those published in or submitted to children's magazines or those similar in subject or theme to those that were. By the late 1890s, she was well known among American readers of magazine fiction.
Her early novel At Fault had not been much noticed by the public, but The Awakening was widely condemned. Critics called it morbid, vulgar, and disagreeable. Willa Cather, who would become a well-known twentieth-century American author, labeled it trite and sordid. Chopin's third anthology of stories, to have been called A Vocation and a Voice, was for unknown reasons cancelled by the publisher and did not appear as a separate volume until 1991.
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