Critical Insights: The Awakening Review

"Previously unpublished archival information that has not been reprinted since the nineteenth century are what make this series of essays unique. Contributors offer perspectives on aspects of Chopin’s life and work, including her style of writing and how it compares to other authors and artists, the development of her characters, her personal familiarity with the locales mentioned in her works, the reflections and considerations of societal norms, and her use of humor and irony. The series of essays by individual scholars begins with a brief introduction, followed by 16 essays grouped within the two main categories of critical contexts and critical readings. The authors seem knowledgeable, their essays are written in a simple, comfortable style, and each is completed with a brief section of notes and a bibliography. At the end of the volume are an extensive chronology of Chopin’s life, bibliographies of her works and of alternative sources of study, information about the editor and the contributors, and an index. This source would serve as a very good starting point for further study and would be best suited for high school or lower-level college courses."