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Collected Stories

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A ruined beauty whose dignity has suffered a lifetime of loss and disenchantment. A Czech immigrant who finds a paradoxical contentment on the harsh expanse of the Nebraska prairie. A solitary young painter spying raptly and guiltily on his exquisite neighbor. These are some of the lives that Willa Cather renders, with a fine balance of compassion and detachment, in these nineteen stories.

Here are the great themes that Cather staked out like tracts of land: the plight of people hungry for beauty in a country that has no room for it; the mysterious arc of human lives; the ways in which the American frontier transformed the strangers who came to it, turning them imperceptibly into Americans. In these fictions, Cather displays her vast moral vision, her unerring sense of place, and her ability to find the one detail or episode that makes a closed life open wide in a single exhilarating moment.
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A ruined beauty whose dignity has suffered a lifetime of loss and disenchantment. A Czech immigrant who finds a paradoxical contentment on the harsh expanse of the Nebraska prairie. A solitary young painter spying raptly and guiltily on his exquisite neighbor. These are some of the lives that Willa Cather renders, with a fine balance of compassion and detachment, in these nineteen stories.

Here are the great themes that Cather staked out like tracts of land: the plight of people hungry for beauty in a country that has no room for it; the mysterious arc of human lives; the ways in which the American frontier transformed the strangers who came to it, turning them imperceptibly into Americans. In these fictions, Cather displays her vast moral vision, her unerring sense of place, and her ability to find the one detail or episode that makes a closed life open wide in a single exhilarating moment.
Product Details
eBook (512 pages)
Published: January 23, 2013
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307831699
Other books byWilla Cather
  • Willa Cather

    Willa Cather
    Four Great Novels—O Pioneers!, One of Ours, The...
    This volume contains four great works (O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, My Ántonia, and One of Ours) by the author who created the first autonomous and successful women’s heroes in American literature. Willa Cather is one of America’s most treasured writers. Her childhood in the woodlands of Virginia and on the prairies of Nebraska formed the inspiration for many of her novels, and her devotion to education provided the basis for her lifetime of achievement. Many critics have stated that Cather might have won a Nobel Prize had she not been a woman in a time of gender inequality. “The time will come when she’ll be ranked above Hemingway.”—Leon Edel “The thing about Willa Cather’s landscape and figures is that not only were they born alive but remain so after six decades.” —Guardian The Song of the Lark (1915): “A story of something better than suggestiveness and charm—a thing finished, sound, and noble.” —The Nation My Ántonia (1918): “No romantic novel ever written in America . . . is half so beautiful as My Ántonia.” —H. L. Mencken

    O Pioneers!

    O Pioneers!
    O Pioneers!, Willa Cather's first great novel, is the classic American story of pioneer life as embodied by one remarkable woman and her singular devotion to the land. Alexandra Bergson arrives on the wind-blasted prairie of Nebraska as a young girl and grows up to turn it into a prosperous farm. In this unforgettable story,Cather conveys both the physical realities of the landscape, as well as the mythic sweep of the transformation of the frontier, more faithfully and perhaps more fully than any other work of fiction.

    Alexander's Bridge

    Alexander's Bridge
    Alexander’s Bridge, Willa Cather’s first novel, is a taut psychological drama about the fragility of human connections. Published in 1912, just a year before O Pioneers! made Cather’s name, it features high society on an international stage rather than the immigrant prairie characters she later became known for. The successful and glamorous life of Bartley Alexander, a world-renowned engineer and bridge builder, begins to unravel when he encounters a former lover in London. As he shuttles among his wife in Boston, his old flame in London, and a massive bridge he is building in Canada, Alexander finds himself increasingly tormented. But the threatened collapse of his marriage presages a more fatal catastrophe, one he will risk his life to try to prevent.

    My Ántonia

    My Ántonia
    "The best thing I've done is My Antonia," recalled Willa Cather. "I feel I've made a contribution to American letters with that book." Ántonia Shimerda returns to Black Hawk, Nebraska, to make a fresh start after eloping with a railway conductor following the tragic death of her father. Accustomed to living in a sod house and toiling alongside the men in the fields, she is unprepared for the lecherous reaction her lush sensuality provokes when she moves to the city. Despite betrayal and crushing opposition, Ántonia steadfastly pursues her quest for happiness—a moving struggle that mirrors the quiet drama of the American landscape.

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