Robert Stone and Kate Chopin

Rereading Robert Stone’s Hollywood novel, Children of Light, thirty-some years after its publication, we were surprised to find a vividly remembered part of the original manuscript missing from the finished book. Had we misremembered? Did we invent a screenplay of Kate Chopin’s famous ur-feminist novel? We went in search of the missing pages and found them in an archive of Stone’s papers. Here we offer the screenplay pages, an accompanying excerpt from Children of Light, the ending of Chopin’s novel, and Stone’s handwritten notes—overall, a rare look into the novelist’s process.

The Lost Screenplay
In which the opening of Chopin’s novel is set into six movements of a film, the making of which is central to the characters in Stone’s novel.

Children of Light
An excerpt depicting the making of the film, starring a famously unstable actress, Lu Anne Verger, who will soon have an ill-fated reunion with the coked-up screenwriter Gordon Walker.

The Awakening
The famed last pages of the novel, in which Chopin’s heroine, Edna Pontellier, walks into the sea and the embrace of no beginning and no end.

By Hand
From Robert Stone’s notebooks for the writing of Children of Light and for his earlier novel, A Flag for Sunrise.

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