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A Brief Biography of Kate Chopin Kate OFlaherty Chopin was born 8 February 1851 into a prominent family in StLouis Missouri Her father Thomas OFlaherty an Irish immigrant was a successful St Louis merchant who was killed in a railroad accident when Kate was only five years old Kates mother Eliza was left a wealthy widow and raised Kate in a household run by vigorous widows her mother grandmother and great-grandmother a community of women who stressed learning curiosity and financial independence Toth 187 Kate was formally educated at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St Louis where she kept a commonplace book in which the thoughtful adolescent recorded themes that appear in her later fiction among them womens roles and the conflict between desire and duty Toth 187 On 9 June 1870 two years after graduating from the Academy Kate married Oscar Chopin the son of a planter from Natchitoches Parish Louisiana They were married for twelve and a half years spending nine in New Orleans and three in Cloutierville Natchitoches Parish During this time Kate gave birth to five boys and one girl Devoting herself to her family and household she still managed to reconcile the needs of her own being with the expectations of her conventional milieu She dressed unconventionally and smoked cigarettes long before smoking was an approved practice among women in her class Inge 91 When Oscar died of malaria in 1882 he left Kate twelve thousand dollars in debt But being the resourceful woman her matriarchs raised she ran the family plantation for a year and then returned with her children to her mother in St Louis A year later Eliza OFlaherty died and Kate began her career as a fiction writer in 1888 Chopins first short story A Point at Issue was published when Kate was thirty-nine Over the next fifteen years until her death in 1904 she published two
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