Though published in 1899, The Awakening warrants inclusion in this list for the distinctly 20th-century sensibility with which it depicts Edna Pontellier's radical march toward sexual and emotional freedom. Kate Chopin (1851-1904) was born and raised in St. Louis, moving to New Orleans after her marriage to Oscar Chopin. She began writing after her husband's death, publishing two collections of short fiction set among the Creoles and Cajuns of southern Louisiana; based on these stories, Chopin was labeled a "local colorist." The Awakening produced much hostile criticism because of its sympathetic portrait of a woman who chooses to reject marriage and motherhood, and the novel was banned by St. Louis libraries. Chopin's reputation has been salvaged by feminist critics, however, who see in the novel an early portrait of a woman who chooses a final independence over even a pleasantly constrained life.