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ABOUT THE BOOK
Willa Cather was a Pulitzer Prize winning American author who is best known for her novels O Pioneers and My Antonia. Her vivid accounts of the experiences of immigrants as they survived the daily struggles of life on the Great Plains of the United States are recognized throughout the world.
A prolific writer, Cather's body of work includes twelve novels and several volumes of poetry, all of which won a great deal of acclaim by literary critics and her peers. Some say that her novel A Lost Lady greatly influenced F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Cathers strong personality as well as her great talent makes her personal life story as intriguing as her work.
Cather succeeded as a writer in a time when women were rarely seen working outside the home, and few women, if any, were respected for their intellects. Cather drew inspiration for her writing from the people she met throughout her childhood in Nebraska. Her richly drawn characters were inspired by the hard-working immigrants she knew in her early days. Cathers insights into the words of the real people eking out their existence on the plains of Nebraska have inspired American readers for decades.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Cather was able to support herself with her work as a writer during the years she was in school, between 1893 and 1895. Her works of non-fiction from this period made up three volumes. After graduation, she was given the job of organizing and managing Home Monthly magazine in Pittsburg, Nebraska. While the magazine itself was not outstanding, the fact that Cather was personally responsible for much of its contents certainly is. When she was not working on Home Monthly, she wrote theater reviews for the Pittsburg Daily Leader and contributed to the Nebraska State Journal.
While still in Pittsburg, Cather became friends with the socialite Isabelle McClung, who introduced her to such illustrious families as the Carnegies and the Fricks. McClung encouraged Cather's writing, and the two of them took a trip to Europe with another writer, Dorothy Canfield. This trip had a great deal of influence on Cather's early writings.
In addition to her works of prose, Cather also wrote poetry. Her first book of poems, April Twilights, was published in 1903. It received favorable reviews, and Catherswriting soon caught the attention of publisher S.S. McClure. McClure was also responsible for bringing attention to writer Upton Sinclair and Dr. Maria Montessori...
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