Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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contents

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p. vii

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acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Writing this book made me feel more like Edna Pontellier than was comfortable. Even at the turn of the twenty-first century, it is difficult for a woman to extricate herself from maternal and marital obligations. Today as in the past, all members of the family unit must do their part in order to keep the organism running. Fourth-grade science homework does not wait for ...

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introduction

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pp. xi-xv

Kate Chopin’s canonical status as a feminist rebel and broad social reformer conflicts with the fact that one of the most supportive publishers throughout her lifetime was the Youth’s Companion, a juvenile periodical whose self-promotion as a product “for all the family” contributed to its success as the longest-running and, at one time, most widely circulating periodical in nineteenth-century America. The Companion ...

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1. Kate Chopin’s Canonical and Market Place: Authorship, Authorization, and Authority

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pp. 1-27

Since the Norwegian scholar Per Seyersted made The Complete Works of Kate Chopin available in 1969, academics have been trying to figure out what Chopin—like her character Edna—“was up to” when she wrote her two novels and many short stories about life in rural, post- Reconstruction Louisiana.1 From statements on book banning and literary expulsion to accounts of a post-Awakening depression that curtailed ...

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2. Coloring Locals: “For Marse Chouchoute,” “A Wizard from Gettysburg,” and “A Rude Awakening”

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pp. 28-56

... is notable as Chopin’s first piece of short fiction to be accepted by and published in the Youth’s Companion. Billed on the front page of the 20 August 1891, edition, the story appeared with a subtitle added by the publisher, “For Marse Chouchoute: A Colored Boy’s Fidelity.” 1 Chopin’s local color piece is her first Companion story of many to address the change in Louisiana’s post-Civil War social ...

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3. For the Love of Children: Motherhood Lore, Childhood Lore, and the Matter of Prejudice in Five Companion Tales

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pp. 57-93

The middle decades of the nineteenth century in America attached heretofore unprecedented importance to “mothering”—woman’s work of caring for and nurturing children—and its relevance to the period’s definitions of ideal feminity. Ann Douglas has written of the period’s emphasis on maternity, claiming that mid-nineteenth-century “American culture seemed bent on establishing a perpetual Mother’s ...

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4. Beyond Coloring Locals: After The Awakening, “Charlie,” and Conventional Returns

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pp. 94-124

What happened to Chopin, her textual production, and her texts’ marketability after the publication of The Awakening continues to be the subject of scholarly debate. Thus, I return in my conclusion to the point where I began in my introduction: revisiting yet another narrative surrounding this late nineteenth-century white bourgeois female author ...

notes

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pp. 125-138

bibliography

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pp. 139-146

index

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pp. 147-158