At Fault (1890) is a novel by American author Kate Chopin. Published at the author's expense, At Fault is the undervalued debut of a pioneering feminist and gifted writer who sought to portray the experiences of Southern women struggling to survive in an era decimated by war and economic hardship.
Thérèse Lafirme is a Creole widow whose husband's death has made the Place-du-Bois plantation on the Cane River in northwestern Louisiana her sole responsibility. Struggling to survive in a region that, following the fall of the Confederacy, has failed to recover from the devastation of defeat, Lafirme agrees to sell her land's timber rights to a recently divorced businessman named David Hosmer. As the two begin to fall in love, Hosmer's sawmill causes tension in an agrarian community unaccustomed to modern industry. Hosmer proposes to Thérèse, she is forced to consider the prospect of marriage against the opinion her community as well as her own moral and religious values, to set her personal desires aside in order to appease tradition. When Fanny, Hosmer's alcoholic ex-wife, re-enters the picture, trouble ensues that threatens to ruin Lafirme's reputation as an honest, hardworking woman. At Fault, like much of Chopin's work, went largely unnoticed upon publication, but has since garnered critical acclaim as a work that explores the lived experiences of women and racial minorities during a period of political and economic upheaval. Both fictional and autobiographicalChopin was a widow of French heritage who struggled to provide for her family following her husband's deathAt Fault is an underappreciated masterpiece of nineteenth-century literature.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Kate Chopin's At Fault is a classic of American literature reimagined for modern readers.