The characters in Kate Chopin’s stories are usually residents of Louisiana, and many are Creoles of various ethnic or racial backgrounds. Many of her works are set in Natchitoches in north-central Louisiana, a region where she lived.
Within a decade of her death, Chopin was widely recognized as one of the leading writers of her time. In 1915, University of Pennsylvania American Literature Professor Fred Lewis Pattee wrote of her, "Some of [Chopin's] work is equal to the best that has been produced in France or even in America. [She displayed] what may be described as a native aptitude for narration amounting almost to genius."
Chopin's writing style was influenced by her admiration of the contemporary French writer Guy de Maupassant, known for his short stories, several of which are found here on Just Listen. She said of him:
“I read his stories and marveled at them. Here was life, not fiction; for where were the plots, the old fashioned mechanism and stage trapping that in a vague, unthinkable way I had fancied were essential to the art of story making? Here was a man who had escaped from tradition and authority, who had entered into himself and looked out upon life through his own being and with his own eyes; and who, in a direct and simple way, told us what he saw….”
As did she.
“A Pair of Silk Stockings” by Kate Chopin…we begin….