A Vocation and a Voice: Stories (Penguin Classics)
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Published for the first time as Chopin intended, this is a collection of her most innovative stories, including "The Story of an Hour," "An Egyptian Cigarette," and "The Kiss."
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
and the beatings which alternated with the most amiable and generous indulgence, were soon forgotten by the little one, always hoping that there would never be another, as she dried her eyes. She liked the ladies who petted her and praised her beauty, and the artists who painted it naked, and the student who held her upon his knee and fondled and kissed her while he taught her to read and spell. There was a cruel beating about that one day, when her mama happened to be in the mood to think her
remain unheeded. She knew that before many months were past she would have to part from her treasure, leaving it unguarded. She shrank from inflicting the pain, the anguish which the discovery of those letters would bring to others; to one, above all, who was near to her, and whose tenderness and years of devotion had made him, in a manner, dear to her. She calmly selected a letter at random from the pile and cast it into the roaring fire. A second one followed almost as calmly, with the third
had lived. II If he had come upon that bundle of letters in the first flush of his poignant sorrow there would not have been an instant’s hesitancy. To destroy it promptly and without question would have seemed a welcome expression of devotion—a way of reaching her, of crying out his love to her while the world was still filled with the illusion of her presence. But months had passed since that spring day when they had found her stretched upon the floor, clutching the key of her writing desk,
bristled; he rubbed himself against the tree; he rolled over on his side, on his back, but the only result which he reached was to turn the saddle so that it dangled beneath him as he walked. At this he swore lustily to himself, as his master, Blanco Bill used to swear so many years back in the Nation. He did not feel now like nibbling grass or amusing himself in any way. His one thought was to get home to his dinner of soft food and be rid of the hateful encumbrance beating against his legs.
scarcely anyone who sees him knows or cares what happens to him. The only act of kindness comes when a policeman “considerately refrained from clubbing him.” Today Kate Chopin is best known for her portrayals of women, and A Vocation and a Voice includes many memorable female characters. The adventurous narrator who smokes the hallucinogenic cigarette in “An Egyptian Cigarette” is a woman, called “Madam” by her drug-producing friend; Suzima, the self-made “Egyptian Maid, the Wonder of the