First appearing in 1899 The Awakening is regarded as work presaging both feminist fiction and literary modernism. The author's clear vision of a woman's internal and external conflicts continue to demand engagement and response from readers.
The Awakening follows Edna Pontellier as she recognizes and attempts to deal with her confining lot as a woman and mother in the 19th century American South. Torn between traditional roles and an inchoate desire for independence and a more passionate life, she faces more than one difficult choice, leading to a grim reckoning. Initially receiving a mixed critical reception, including much condemnation for its frank depiction of adultery, the novel has gone on to be recognized as both a classic piece of fiction and a groundbreaking work of women's realism. The poignant portrayal of the protagonist attempting to determine her true feminine identity makes this one of the first novels willing to openly confront women's issues, to make clear that traditional roles could be limiting and to legitimatize an emotional life that transcended society's boundaries.
With an eye-catching new cover, and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of The Awakening is both modern and readable.