|Kate Chopin was born Kate O'Flaherty, of Irish-French-Creole descent. At 19, she married the Creole plantation owner Oscar Chopin and moved with him to Louisiana, living part of the time in New Orleans. Theirs was a blissfully happy union, and when her husband died prematurely in 1883, Kate Chopin, with their six children, moved back to St. Louis where she remained for the rest of her life. Chopin studied the piano and had a strong interest in music, but she was highly praised and immensely popular as a writer of "regional" short stories about Louisiana. When THE AWAKENING appeared, however, she was vilified by critics and deserted by her public because of the novel's sexual frankness. Chopin died in 1904 of a cerebral hemorrhage after a visit to the St. Louis World's Fair.