Cather, Willa, 1873-1947.
American author and teacher born in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and raised there and in
Red Cloud, Nebraska. Winner of the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922). Noted for her
depictions of life on the prairie, and how its inhabitants both alter and are altered by the land.
Death Comes for the Archbishop. 1927.
Historical novel dealing with the efforts of French churchmen Bishop Latour and Father Joseph
Vallient to secure the Catholic Church in 19th century New Mexico. Based on the real-life careers of
Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy and Father Joseph Machebeuf. While generally not as highly regarded as
Cather's Nebraska novels, I myself found this one engrossing.
My Antonia. 1918.
Relates the stories of a number of immigrant families starting new lives in Nebraska, particularly
the Shimerdas, from Bohemia. The focus is on Antonia (accent on the first syllable), the eldest Shimerda
daughter, and her life as seen through the eyes of her admirer, narrator Jim Burden. Presented in five
"volumes," most of which coincide with stages in Antonia's life, and incorporates previously written short
stories of Nebraska life. Considered Cather's best novel. Third book in her "prairie trilogy," preceded by
O Pioneers! (1913) and The Song of the Lark (1915). Adapted to television in 1995.
O Pioneers! 1913.
The story of Alexandra Bergson, who arrives in Hanover, Nebraska as a girl and matures amid loss and
tragedy to create a successful farm there. An expansion of the earlier short stories "Alexandra" and "The
White Mulberry Tree." Cather's first great novel, and the first book in her "prairie trilogy," followed by
The Song of the Lark (1915) and My Antonia (1918). Adapted to television in both 1991 and
Jul. 25, 2005,
and last updated
May 14, 2013.
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Published by Fleabonnet Press.
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Additional material © 1999-2013 by Brian Kunde.