Awarding an unlikely feminist character (and the author who created her)

Congratulations to Bostonian Sue Miller, this year's winner of the Kate Chopin Award, bestowed each year to an author who embraces the feminist themes of Chopin's best-known work, The Awakening.

When I wrote about Miller's 2008 novel, The Senator's Wife, in January, I spoke to her about the complicated feminism of one of the book's two main female characters, Delia. Here's an excerpt:

The women and their husbands all have their flaws. “Some people see Delia as a sap,” Miller says on the phone from the West Coast, where she is starting her book tour. It’s true that the sophisticated title character takes her philandering husband back time and again, but “I’m not sure that’s a great failure on her part,” Miller says. In fact, Delia is remarkably self-aware, and any forgiveness happens on her own — if indistinct — terms.

The St. Louis Dispatch had an interview with Miller in Sunday's paper. She'll accept the award on Thursday in St. Louis, Chopin's hometown.

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