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Lucy Gayheart

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
"Some people's lives are affected by what happens to their person or their property, but for others fate is what happens to their feelings and their thoughts—that and nothing more." In this haunting 1935 novel, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of My Ántonia and Death Comes for the Archbishop performs a series of crystalline variations on the themes that preoccupy her greatest fiction: the impermanence of innocence, the opposition between prairie and city, provincial American values and world culture, and the grandeur, elation, and heartache that await a gifted young woman who leaves her small Nebraska town to pursue a life in art.At the age of eighteen, Lucy Gayheart heads for Chicago to study music. She is beautiful and impressionable and ardent, and these qualities attract the attention of Clement Sebastian, an aging but charismatic singer who exercises all the tragic, sinister fascination of a man who has renounced life only to turn back to seize it one last time. Out of their doomed love affair—and Lucy's fatal estrangement from her origins—Willa Cather creates a novel that is as achingly lovely as a Schubert sonata.
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"Some people's lives are affected by what happens to their person or their property, but for others fate is what happens to their feelings and their thoughts—that and nothing more." In this haunting 1935 novel, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of My Ántonia and Death Comes for the Archbishop performs a series of crystalline variations on the themes that preoccupy her greatest fiction: the impermanence of innocence, the opposition between prairie and city, provincial American values and world culture, and the grandeur, elation, and heartache that await a gifted young woman who leaves her small Nebraska town to pursue a life in art.At the age of eighteen, Lucy Gayheart heads for Chicago to study music. She is beautiful and impressionable and ardent, and these qualities attract the attention of Clement Sebastian, an aging but charismatic singer who exercises all the tragic, sinister fascination of a man who has renounced life only to turn back to seize it one last time. Out of their doomed love affair—and Lucy's fatal estrangement from her origins—Willa Cather creates a novel that is as achingly lovely as a Schubert sonata.
Product Details
Paperback (208 pages)
Published: September 26, 1995
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679728887
Other books byWilla Cather
  • Willa Cather

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    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.

    My Antonia

    My Antonia
    My Antonia is the unforgettable story of an immigrant woman's life on the Nebraska plains, seen through the eyes of her childhood friend, Jim Burden. The beautiful, free-spirited, wild-eyed girl captured Jim's imagination long ago and haunts him still, embodying for him the elemental spirit of the American frontier.

    Alexander's Bridge

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    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.

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  • In Harverford on the Platte the townspeople still talk of Lucy Gayheart.

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  • As he was leaving the Gayhearts', he paused mechanically on the sidewalk as he had done so many thousand times, to look at the three light footprints, running away.

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