Kate Chopin: Biography

Kate Chopin

08 feb 1850

Kate Chopin is one of the American authors whose life and works got widely popular after her death. Originally named Catherine O’ Flaherty, Kate was a novelist and a short-story writer. Born on 8 Feb, 1850 in St.Louis, Missouuri to Thomas O’Flaherty and Eliza Faris, she was mostly surrounded by females. Since Eliza’s origin was of French, Kate naturally got used to French life and literature. This can even be felt from her works.

Kate Chopin faced terrible loses in her early life. She lost her father, great grandmother and her half-brother at a very young age. She married Oscar Chopin and the couple settled in New Orleans. As ill luck followed, Oscar died of Malaria in 1882 leaving Kate to be a 32-year-old widow with six children.

Kate Chopin was much braver than most of the females of that period. She continued her husband’s business. Kate was beautiful and intelligent. Listening to her intellectual talks, Dr. Frederick Kolbenheyer, her Obstetrician and a family friend encouraged her to write.

In 1890, Kate wrote her first novel, ‘At Fault’ which was published privately. Since she could not find a publisher for her second novel, she destroyed the manuscript. Kate earned money by writing short-stories. Few of Kate’s stories were published in leading magazines like Vogue and Atlantic.

‘Bayou Folk’ was one of Kate’s works which was widely accepted. But her novel, ‘The Awakening’ received criticism initially but later it won. On Aug 22, 1904 Kate died due to cerebral haemorrhage. Sadly, it was only after Kate’s death, people started understanding the essence of her work.

Credit goes to Per Seyersted’s, who wrote Kate’s biography and brought her back to life. It was only then her works started to become more popular and were also translated into many languages. Today Kate is accepted as one of America’s important authors and her works form part of the American Literature. Many people even visit her gravesite and pay homage.