'At Fault', which mirrors Chopin's own life, was written at the beginning of her career and introduces characters and themes that appeared later in her accliamed novel 'The Awakening'. Set in the post-Reconstruction South against the backdrop of economic devastation and simmering racial tensions, this is the story of Therese Lafirme, a beautiful young Creole widow, who falls in love with a divorced businessman, David Hosmer. When her moral and religious convictions compel her to reject Hosmer's marriage proposal, the two are set on a tumultuous journey.
Kate Chopin (1850-1904) was born in St Louis and later moved to Louisiana where she wrote many short stories and two novels. Her novel The Awakening was widely condemned on publication and led to the cancellation of further publishing contracts but was rediscovered in the 1960s and remains her best known work.Bernard Koloski is professor of English at Mansfield University. He is the author of Kate Chopin: A Study of the Short Fiction and edited Chopin's Bayou Folk for Penguin Classics.