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Women and Autonomy in Kate Chopin’s Short Fiction

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Allen F. Stein

Women and Autonomy in Kate Chopin’s Short Fiction offers close readings of some thirty stories – Chopin’s most significant short works – the majority of which have never received analytical scrutiny. These works, predominantly grim, portray the difficulties women confront as they seek autonomy in a social framework that typically constrains them whether they are married, in the midst of courtship, or seeking to live independently. This groundbreaking book makes it apparent that Chopin’s short fiction is no less significant than her famous novel, The Awakening, and that her stories also provide a valuable context for that work.