By Hanna, East Wenatchee Librarian
Today Willa Cather is one of the most important American novelists of the first half of the twentieth century. Seen as a regional writer for decades after her passing in 1947, critics have increasingly identified Cather as a canonical American writer, the peer of authors like Hemingway, Faulkner and Wharton. (The Willa Cather Center).
Celebrate her birth by reading one of her novels or short stories!
My Ántonia (1918) depicts the pioneering period of European settlement on the tall-grass prairie of the American midwest, with its beautiful yet terrifying landscape, rich ethnic mix of immigrants and native-born Americans, and communities who share life’s joys and sorrows.
A classic novel of the Nebraska prairie, O Pioneers! is the story of Alexandra Bergson, the daughter of Swedish immigrant farmers, whose devotion to the land sustains her against the hardships and suffering of prairie life.
Willa Cather’s Pulitzer Prize-winning narrative of the making of a young American soldier Claude Wheeler, the sensitive, aspiring protagonist of this beautifully modulated novel, resembles the youngest son of a peculiarly American fairy tale. His fortune is ready-made for him, but he refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his crass father and pious mother, all but rejected by a wife who reserves her ardor for missionary work, and dissatisfied with farming, Claude is an idealist without an ideal to cling to. It is only when his country enters the First World War that Claude finds what he has been searching for all his life.
The Troll Garden by Willa Cather
The Troll Garden is a classic collection of short stories about the role and status of the artist in American society. Contained here in this volume are the following tales: Flavia and Her Artists, The Sculptor’s Funeral, A Death in the Desert, The Garden Lodge, The Marriage of Phædra, A Wagner Matinee, and Paul’s Case.
The Selected Letters of Willa Cather by Willa Cather
A first publication of the acclaimed writer’s personal correspondences, includes whimsical teenage reports of her 1880s Red Cloud life, letters written during her early journalism years, and the 1940s exchanges penned in observation of World War II and her own struggles with aging.
Willa : The Story of Willa Cather by Amy Ehrlich
Willa Cather’s life was a true American success story. A pioneer and determined spirit, Willa didn’t let anything stand in her way. She refused to be discouraged by the fact that in the 1880s women hadn’t written before, because she had many ideas to share. By becoming a trailblazer and following her heart, Willa Cather is remembered today as one of the greatest American writers in history.