First published in 1899, this novel shocked readers with its open sensuality and uninhibited treatment of marital infidelity. Poignant and lyrical, it tells the story of a New Orleans wife who attempts to find love outside a stifling marriage. Critics have praised it as a first-rate narrative and a forerunner of the modern novel. Newly available in this inexpensive edition, "The Awakening" offers modern readers superb characterization and an insightful portrait of a woman’s awakening to physical passion. New introductory note.