Born: February 8, 1850, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: August 22, 1904, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Education: Academy of the Sacred Heart, St. Charles
Lived: 4232 McPherson Ave, St Louis, MO 63108, USA (38.64271, -90.24881)
Buried: Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA, Plot: Sec 17, lot 47
Spouse: Oscar Chopin (m. 1870–1882)
Children: Marie Laïza Chopin, Felix Andrew Chopin, more
Kate Chopin was an American author of short stories and novels. She is considered to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century. An early feminist, many of Chopin’s writings feature intimate female-female relationships. So did her life, one of her friends was Sister Katherine "Kitty" Garesche, from school days. Garesche entered the Sacred Heart convent shortly after Chopin married but the two women continued their intimate friendship for the rest of their lives. In 1900, Chopin wrote a poem for Garesche’s fiftieth birthday: “It is not all of life / to cling together while the years / glide past. / It is not all of love / to walk with clasped hands from / first to last. / that mystic garland which the / spring did twine / of scented lilac and the new- / blown rose, / Faster than chains will hold my / soul to thine / Thro’ joy, and grief, thro’ life- / unto its close.” Chopin's short story Lilacs portrays at least a yearning for intimacy between a nun and a sometime female visitor.
They met in before 1868 and remained friends until Chopin’s death in 1904: 36 years.
Kate Chopin (February 8, 1850 — August 22, 1904)
Kitty Garesche (1850 - March 10, 1940)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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The Kate Chopin House in St. Louis, Missouri, is the former home of author Kate Chopin. The house was built by contractor Oscar F. Humphrey.
Address: 4232 McPherson Ave, St Louis, MO 63108, USA (38.64271, -90.24881)
Type: Private Property
LGBTQ-friendly Bookstores: Left Bank Books (399 N. Euclid, St. Louis, MO 63108 and 321 N. 10th Street, St. Louis, MO 63101)
National Register of Historic Places: 86000209, 1986
Built in 1897
Kate Chopin moved to the house in 1903 and lived there until her death in 1904; while living in the house, she wrote her last poem and story. The house at 4232 McPherson is her only surviving former residence in St. Louis. Kate Chopin is buried at Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum (5239 W Florissant Ave, St. Louis, MO 6311), where you can also find the burial place of Tennesse Williams (his family, against his last wishes, buried him in St. Louis), and of author William S. Burroughs of the Beat Generation, at the nearby Bellefontaine Cemetery (4947 W Florissant Ave, St. Louis, MO 63115). As Mother Kitty Garesché, RSCJ, Katherine Milligan "Kitty" Garesché (Chopin life-long friend) had a long career in education, ending her days as superior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grosse Pointe, MI. She is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Detroit.
Who: Kate Chopin, nèe Katherine O’Flaherty (February 8, 1850 – August 22, 1904)
Kate Chopin was an author of short stories and novels. She is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of the feminist authors of the XX century of Southern or Catholic background, such as Zelda Fitzgerald. Kate Chopin moved to Louisiana with her husband Oscar and their five children in 1879. Her house was located on Main Street (Louisiana Highway 1) in Cloutierville, in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. The home was built by the town’s founder, Alexis Cloutier and was constructed in a combination of handmade brick, hand-hewn cypress boards, and bousillage. Its construction, done through the use of slave labor, dated to between 1806 and 1813. Kate Chopin’s sixth child, a daughter named Lélia, was born there shortly after the family’s arrival in 1879. Oscar set up a general store and ran the business end of the family plantation. Shortly after their arrival in Cloutierville, he inherited a quarter of the family property. Chopin would later describe the neighborhood in her 1891 short story "For Marse Chouchoute" as "two long rows of very old frame houses, facing each other closely across a dusty roadway.” Neighbors, mostly of French-Creole descent, did not approve of Chopin’s fashion and tendency to smoke cigarettes, play cards, and go for walks alone. Local gossip also suggested that Chopin lifted her skirt higher than necessary when walking, showing her ankles. Kate Chopin only lived there for about four years when her husband died. Oscar Chopin had suffered from malaria and overdosed on quinine, leading to his wife Kate to take over the business. However, she soon left the home and relocated to St. Louis, Missouri by mid-1884 to be with her mother. She left her sons with the family of her husband in Cloutierville. One of her friends was Sister Katherine “Kitty” Garesche (1850-1940) since their school days together. In 1900, Chopin wrote a poem for Garesche’s 50th birthday:
It is not all of life
To cling together while the years
It is not all of love
To walk with clasped hands from
First to last.
That mystic garland which the
Spring did twine
Of scented lilac and the new-
Faster than chains will hold my
Soul to thine
Thro’ joy, and grief, thro’ life-
Unto its close.
Her stories discussed the evolving role of women in American society, and contemporary literary critics considered her one of the most significant St. Louis authors of the period.
Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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