Kate Chopin (1850–1904) was an American writer born in St. Louis. She spent a significant portion of her adult life in New Orleans with her husband. Widowed at 32 years old, Chopin was left to raise six children on her own. Two years after her husband’s death, she moved her family back to St. Louis and began writing as a means to support her family. She contributed short stories to Vogue, TheAtlantic Monthly, and Harper’s Young People. In 1899, she published her second novel and most famous work, The Awakening. While visiting the St. Louis World’s Fair on August 20, 1904, Chopin suffered a brain hemorrhage and died two days later, at the age of 54.
Kate Chopin (1850–1904) set many of her short stories in Louisiana, where her husband owned a small plantation. Written in 1896, after Chopin’s own husband had died and she was forced to sell their home, this story concerns a Creole widow, Madame Martel, who spends Christmas Eve alone, pining for her dead husband.