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Willa Cather Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Alexander's Bridge (1912) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
O Pioneers! (1913) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Song of the Lark (1915) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
My Antonia (1918) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
One of Ours (1922) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Lost Lady (1923) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Professor's House (1925) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
My Mortal Enemy (1926) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shadows on the Rock (1931) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lucy Gayheart (1935) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The Troll Garden (1905) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Old Beauty and Others (1948) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction, 1892-1912 (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Uncle Valentine and Other Stories (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Troll Garden and Selected Stories (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Autobiography of S.S. McClure (1914) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Not Under Forty (1936) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On Writing (1949) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Willa Cather was an American author famously known for her books of frontier life on the Great Plains including, My Antonia (1918), The Song of the Lark (1915), and O Pioneers (1913). One of Ours published in 1922 and set during the First World War won the Pulitzer Award in 1923.
Cather was born in 1873 in the Back Creek Valley next to Winchester, Virginia and within a year after her birth, her family relocated to Willow Shadow, a home given to them by her grandparents. At the age of nine years, they again relocated to Nebraska to escape the outbreaks out tuberculosis that plagued Virginia. Cather’s earliest work was Red Cloud Chief, which was published in a local newspaper. Her time in the western state still on the frontier enriched her with formative experience. She was inspired by the dramatic experience, weather, Native American and immigrant families, various cultures of the European-American and the vastness of Nebraska prairie.

Cather was the first born to her family; she had siblings, Douglass, Roscoe, Jessica, Elsie, James, and John. She admitted that she was indeed closer to her brothers than her sisters whom she did not like very much. She read extensively and made friends with a Jewish couple who offered her free entry to access their extensive library.

In 1896, Cather relocated to Pittsburgh after getting a writing job for the Home Monthly, a women’s magazine. Twelve months later, she became a drama critic and a telegraph editor for the Pittsburgh Leader. She also regularly contributed short fiction and poetry to The Library, a local publication. In Pittsburg she also taught algebra, Latin and English composition, for one year at Central High School, she then taught Latin and English at Allegheny High School where she became head of English Department.

During the first year in Pittsburg, Cather wrote several short stories including Tommy, the Unsentimental, a story about a Nebraskan girl who disguises herself as a boy to save her father’s business. The Troll Garden, Cather’s first collection of short stories was published in 1905 and contains some of the author’s best-known stories such as Paul’s Case, A Wagner Matinee, and The Sculptor’s Funeral.

In 1906, Cather relocated to New York after getting hired as an editorial staff by McClure Magazine. During her first year, she wrote a vividly described biography of Mary Baker Eddy even though Georgine Milmine was named as the author. Between the 1910s and 20s, Cather was already an established as an influential American writer and won various prizes. However by 1930s critics dismissed her as a romantic, nostalgic write who could not cope with the present and during the hardships of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, Cather work was viewed as lacking social relevance. However, despite the critics, Cather remained one of the famous authors whom short stories and novels continued to sell well. For instance, in 1931, Cather’s novel Shadow on the Rock, became the most widely read book in the United States and 1935, Lucy Gayheart became a bestseller.

O, Pioneers!

O Pioneers! was Cather first novel published in 1913, and it remains one of her best and unchallenged masterpiece. No other work of fiction by any author portrays both the mythic sweep and the sharp physical realities of the transformation of the American frontier- and also the conversion of the people who settled in it. Cather introduces her heroine, Alexandra Bergson, who arrives at the windswept prairie of Hanover, Nebraska as a young girl and grows up to make it a successful firm. However, this dedication to the farm and success is also darkened by loss, and Alex devotion to the land might come at the cost of love itself.

O Pioneers! is an advanced pastoral and a prototype for Cather’s later books. It is a work in which success is insanely entangled with tragedy, a story of people whose submission to the land is far much greater than their reclamation.

My Antonia

Through Jim Burden adorable, lovable voice, we revisit the astounding ups and downs of immigrant life in Nebraska, with all its adamant bond. Leading the way are some of the literature most fantastic characters; Russian brothers haunted by the memories of their fateful sled ride and Antonia homesick father and her self-indulgent mother.

Cather presents My Antonia as a story within a story. It is a story about the early settlers of Nebraska; a story of challenges, success, change, community and many other factors. The story is narrated by an orphan boy who is sent to live with his grandparents after his parents died. The story also focuses on Antonia Shimerda and her family of Bohemian origin. More than just Wild West story, Cather’s evocative voice builds a new shelter for the readers in this stranger but a very welcoming land that turns the mundane into gold while crying for a past that will not come back.

Cather opens up the narrative by introducing Jim Burden and then inviting him to narrate the story of Antonia Shimmer, a Czech girl who grew up with him. Jim now a middle-aged lawyer residing in New York recounts their story giving the readers a glimpse of the life during the late 19th century Nebraska, its scenic landscape, farming frontier and the colorful people and the local towns.

Jim was barely ten years old when his parents died. He was sent to his grandparents in strange territory. On the other hand, Antonia longing for her native home in Bohemia made her life unbearable. Life was also not good for her family, as her father had failed to adjust to the life in the foreign country. Jim and Antonia shared the same troubles (living in a foreign land), and this is what powerfully fastened their bond and subsequently made them turn into the Nebraskan landscape in search of protection.

They are later separated when Jim relocated to Black Hawk, and his friend Antonia is recruited as a hired girl, and that is how their closeness begins to dissolve, but their spiritual bond remains high until when they bump into each other later in life.

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