Author. She is considered by many as a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century. Born Kate O'Flaherty in St. Louis, she was the daughter of an Irish immigrant father and a mother of French Canadian descent. She married Oscar Chopin and moved to Louisiana at age nineteen. When her husband died 12 years later, Chopin and her children moved back to St. Louis. Always fond of reading, she turned to writing to ease her depression. Soon she was recognized as accomplished short-story writer. By the late 1890s she was well known among American writers of magazine non-fiction, writing for publications such as the Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Youth's Companion and the Century. Chopin's stories were often set in Louisiana and featured strong women who did not always conform to traditional standards of that era. Her first novel, "At Fault" (1890), did not receive much attention, but her second, "The Awakening" (1899), was widely criticized on both moral and literary grounds. It is the story of a dissatisfied wife who is "awakened" by the attentions of other men, who in turn are unable to accept her desire for freedom. While visiting the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, Chopin suffered a brain hemorrhage and died days later at the age of fifty-four. Out of print for decades, "The Awakening" was rediscovered in the 1970s and is now considered a precursor to American feminism.
Bio by: Katie