The first time I heard of Kate Chopin was during a visit to Natchitoches in Louisiana. We drove to Cloutierville and Kate Chopin's home, which had been turned into the Bayou Folk Museum, but unfortunately all we found were charred remains. The house had succumbed to an electrical fire just six months earlier.
In 1890 she published her first novel, At Fault, at her own expense and many of her short stories were published in magazines during the late 1800s. The Awakening, with a theme of infidelity and sexual freedom, was as scandalous when it was first published in 1899 as Shades of Gray is today. In her stories, Ms. Chopin allows her women to be independent and enjoy romantic affairs as she did herself. Her stories also reflect the French influenced (Creole) life in Louisiana. In her stories Ms. Chopin takes us into the world of Creole ladies with beautiful flowing language and vivid descriptions.