8 Willa Cather (1873 – 1947)


White woman looking straight ahead with a black hat
Public Domain Photographer: Cather Van Vechten Created: 1 January 1936

Wilella Sibert Cather, better known as Willa Cather was an American writer known for her novels of life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Ántonia. In 1923, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, a novel set during World War I.

Willa Cather and her family moved from Virginia to Webster County, Nebraska, when she was nine years old. The family later settled in the town of Red Cloud. Shortly after graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Cather moved to Pittsburgh for ten years, supporting herself as a magazine editor and high school English teacher. At the age of 33, she moved to New York City, her primary home for the rest of her life, though she also traveled widely and spent considerable time at her summer residence on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. She spent the last 39 years of her life with her domestic partner, Edith Lewis, before being diagnosed with breast cancer and dying of a cerebral hemorrhage. She is buried beside Lewis in a Jaffrey, New Hampshire plot.

Cather achieved recognition as a novelist of the frontier and pioneer experience. She wrote of the spirit of those settlers moving into the western states, many of them European immigrants in the nineteenth century. Common themes in her work include nostalgia and exile. A sense of place is an important element in Cather’s fiction: physical landscapes and domestic spaces are for Cather dynamic presences against which her characters struggle and find community.

“Neighbour Rosicky”
The word - Read - over the background of a book.

“Neighbour Rosicky.” Five Stories, by Willa Cather, New York, Vintage Books, 1956, pp. 72–111. Internet Archive, http://archive.org/details/fivestories00cath.

Please click the link below to access this selection: Neighbour Rosicky by Willa Cather http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0201131.txt

[selection ends at “New York, 1928”]


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