It’s been over a decade since I read The Awakening, so I had forgotten a few of the finer details. Like the main character Edna Pontellier’s flirtations with an unmarried man. And her scandalous affair with a persuasive playboy. And her untimely suicide. Ok, so it’s hardly an inspiring novel, but the same can’t be said about its author. Kate Chopin was a young widow struggling to keep her husband’s business afloat while raising six children. She lost her spouse, her business and both her parents before ever writing an opening line, but in the end, she established herself as one of the great writers of the late 19th century.