One vindication of the revision of the canon in American literature today, or so it is frequently claimed in the academy, is the recent discovery and elevation into preeminence of Kate Chopin (1850-1904), a regionalist writer of the backcountry Louisiana milieu. In fact, however, Chopin’s work has been long known to those with a serious interest in the literature of the period, and every university of any standing, in the South at least, has from afar back assigned her stories to students. I myself vividly remember reading her fiction thirty-five years ago in Chapel Hill, along with other regionalists like Sarah Orne Jewett and Mary Wilkins Freeman. So Chopin cannot be claimed as a “lost” author newly discovered by the race-gender-class canon-busters. Indeed, Daniel Rankin presented the facts of her life in Kate Chopin and Her Creole Stories 1932, and Per Seyersted filled out the portrait in Kate...


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