Lilacs and Other Stories
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Kate Chopin (1850-1904) was an American writer of novels and short stories. She is now considered to have been a forerunner of the feminist literature of the 20th century. Throughout her career, Chopin gained inspiration from a trip to the South in Louisiana and much of her fiction was set there. She valued its vague, less structured and more sensual atmosphere. Although she was pigeonholed as a regional writer, she wanted badly to reach a national audience. She tried to consign with her collection of Creole stories and finally succeeded with "Lilacs and Other Stories". "Lilacs" is the tale of a worldly Parisian actress, Adrienne Farival, who inspired every spring by the scent of the first lilac blossom, visits the convent where she spent her youth to find one day, she is banished forever. This collection includes 23 other distinctive tales of Southern Life including "Beyond the Bayou," a story of a middle-aged black woman named La Folle who lives on an abandoned field next to the bayou from which she has never ventured to the lands beyond her home.
reflectively. “He thought a creole knew how to love. Does he reckon he ’s goin’ to learn a creole how to love?” His face was white and set with despair now. The rage had all left it as he rode deeper on into the wood. IX Offdean rose early, wishing to take the morning train to the city. But he was not before Euphrasie, whom he found in the large hall arranging the breakfast-table. Old Pierre was there too, walking slowly about with hands folded behind him, and with bowed head. A restraint
silence, with only each other and the sheeny, prying lizards for company, talking of the old times and planning for the new; while light breezes stirred the tattered vines high up among the columns, where owls nested. “We can never hope to have all just as it was, Pauline,” Ma’ame Pélagie would say; “perhaps the marble pillars of the salon will have to be replaced by wooden ones, and the crystal candelabra left out. Should you be willing, Pauline?” “Oh, yes, Sesoeur, I shall be willing.” It was
oak-tree in the fallow meadow. But a terrible sense of loss overwhelmed Cazeau. It was not new or sudden; he had felt it for weeks growing upon him, and it seemed to culminate with Athénaïse’s flight from home. He knew that he could again compel her return as he had done once before,—compel her to return to the shelter of his roof, compel her cold and unwilling submission to his love and passionate transports; but the loss of self-respect seemed to him too dear a price to pay for a wife. He
market, scaled fish, and did many odd offices for the itinerant merchants, who usually paid in trade for his service. Occasionally he saw the color of silver and got his clutch upon a coin, but he accepted anything, and seldom made terms. He was glad to get a handkerchief from the Hebrew, and grateful if the Choctaws would trade him a bottle of filé for it. The butcher flung him a soup bone, and the fishmonger a few crabs or a paper bag of shrimps. It was the big mulatresse , vendeuse de café,
getting a husband were surely lessening every year; especially with the young girls around her, budding each spring like flowers to be plucked. The one who had played upon the organ was Mademoiselle Duvigné, Claire Duvigné, a great belle, the daughter of the Rampart street. Ma’me Antoine had found that out during the ten minutes she and others had stopped after mass to gossip with the priest. “Claire Duvigné,” muttered Tonie, not even making a pretense to taste his courtbouillon, but picking