'Introducing this release of The Awakening has given me an opportunity to re-experience one of my life's important books . . . I still marvel at Chopin's realism, her impatience with conventional trappings, her arresting honesty' BARBARA KINGSOLVER'Incisive, brilliant and haunting' MAGGIE O'FARRELLOver one long, languid summer Edna Pontellier, fettered by marriage and motherhood, becomes acquainted with Robert Lebrun. As the days shorten and the temperature drops Edna succumbs to Robert's devotion. But as her desire grows so too does her discontentment - with the role society has forced her to play and with the bonds that hold her fast - and her world begins to unravel with devastating consequences...The Awakening is widely regarded as one of the forerunners of feminist literature alongside Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Flaubert's Madame Bovary. First published in the United States in 1899, this radical novel sent shockwaves through American society and continues to speak to readers over a hundred years later. This tender, brilliant, and seductive novel is as beautifully written as it is politically engaging.