Other books byWilla Cather
Four Great NovelsO 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 charma 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!, 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, 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.
The Song of the Lark
"The time will come when she will be ranked above Hemingway." --Leon Edel In this powerful portrait of the self-making of an artist, Willa Cather created one of her most extraordinary heroines. Thea Kronborg, a minister's daughter in a provincial Colorado town, seems destined from childhood for a place in the wider world. But as her path to the world stage leads her ever farther from the humble town she can't forget and from the man she can't afford to love, Thea learns that her exceptional musical talent and fierce ambition are not enough. It is in the solitude of a tiny rock chamber high in the side of an Arizona cliff--"a cleft in the heart of the world"--that Thea comes face to face with her own dreams and desires, stripped clean by the haunting purity of the ruined cliff dwellings and inspired by the whisperings of their ancient dust. Here she finds the courage to seize her future and to use her gifts to catch "the shining, elusive element that is life itself--life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose." In prose as shimmering and piercingly true as the light in a desert canyon, Cather takes us into the heart of a woman coming to know her deepest self.