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Name:    Chopin, Kate
Category:  Cultural Life
Born/Started:     Feb. 08, 1850
Died/Ended:     Aug. 22, 1904
Description:    Kate Chopin was an early 20th century author, whose groundbreaking work, The Awakening, ignited a storm of controversy due to its views on the struggles of the common man against the business community of the day.

A native St. Louisan, Ms. Chopin was of Creole descent. Auguste Chouteau was one of her ancestors. When she was 13, she was arrested by Union soldiers after tearing down a Union flag from her family┬┤s porch. Supporters named her "St. Louis┬┤ Littlest Rebel." On June 9, 1870, she married Oscar Chopin and settled in New Orleans. Her husband died of yellow fever in 1882, leaving her in debt and with two small children to support.

Ms. Chopin moved back to St. Louis in 1884 and purchased a house at 3317 Morgan in 1886. She wrote several musical pieces and poems, and in 1890, published her first novel, At Fault. When one publisher rejected it, Ms. Chopin published and distributed the book herself. While reviewed positively, some critics were offended by the use of slang and subject matter. Nevertheless, she became a popular literary figure in St. Louis and a charter member of the Wednesday Club.



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