Calculating Love
by Alicia d'Marvel (b.1971)

In Brief
course1-book1Dara Bennett, the novel's young heroine, has just arrived in New York from the Midwest to take a position in a prestigious consulting firm. Her first assignment is with a high-tech company founded and operated by charismatic Blake Darcy. The two are deeply attracted to one another, but as in all romance novels not all goes smoothly. We pick up the story in Chapter 12 as Blake confronts Dara: Why, he wants to know, has she been avoiding him?

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About the Author
Alicia d'Marvel doesn't really exist. Nor does her novel, Calculating Love. LitLovers created Alicia...and adapted the so-called "excerpt" from an actual romance novel. The scene is very close to its original, but the plot, title, and names, have been changed—to protect the innocent (and to avoid copyright infringement).

The Story of an Hour
by Kate Chopin (1851-1904)

In Brief
course1-book2Chopin wrote this story in the late 19th century when women led far more restricted lives than today. The story opens as Mrs. Mallard receives some shocking news, and her reaction is equally as shocking—at least it was during the time this story was written. Her views on love and marriage are vastly different from Dara's and would have disturbed, even offended, many of Chopin's contemporaries.

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About the Author
Considered a minor writer of the late 19th century, Chopin was ignored for over 70 years. Feminist scholars rediscovered her works in the 1960's and have come to value their highly realistic style, provocative themes, and revealing insights into women's roles in her era.

Chopin's best known work, The Awakening (a novel), was considered radical and offensive when first published in 1899. "The Story of an Hour," the short story for this LitCourse, has a similar theme.

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