Uprooted from a well-ordered life in Virginia when she was nine, Willa Cather came of age in the West during the last years of the American frontier. She developed a love for the beauty of the open grassland and an abiding interest in the Old World customs of her neighbors, the dreamers and builders who inhabit her fiction. This collection includes work from the early part of Cather's career and clearly marks themes and landscapes that she would detail and explore for the remainder of her life. Alongside THE BOHEMIAN GIRL, Harper Perennial will publish the short fiction of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Herman Melville, Stephen Crane, and Oscar Wilde to be packaged in a beautifully designed, boldly colorful boxset in the aim to attract contemporary fans of short fiction to these revered masters of the form. Also, in each of these selections will appear a story from one of the new collections being published in the "Summer of the Short Story." A story from Lydia Peelle's forthcoming collection, REASONS FOR AND ADVANTAGES OF BREATHING, will be printed at the back of this volume.
This first publication of the letters of one of America's most consistently admired writers is both an exciting and a significant literary event. Willa Cather, wanting to be judged on her work alone, clearly forbade the publication of her letters in her will. But now, more than sixty-five years after her death, with her literary reputation as secure as a reputation can be, the letters have become available for publication. The 566 letters collected here, nearly 20 percent of the total, range from the funny (and mostly misspelled) reports of life in Red Cloud in the 1880s that Cather wrote as a teenager, through those from her college years at the University of Nebraska, her time as a journalist in Pittsburgh and New York, and during her growing eminence as a novelist. Postcards and letters describe her many travels around the United States and abroad, and they record her last years in the 1940s, when the loss of loved ones and the disasters of World War II brought her near to despair. Written to family and close friends and to such luminaries as Sarah Orne Jewett, Robert Frost, Yehudi Menuhin, Sinclair Lewis, and the president of Czechoslovakia, Thomas Masaryk, they reveal her in her daily life as a woman and writer passionately interested in people, literature, and the arts in general. The voice heard in these letters is one we already know from her fiction: confident, elegant, detailed, openhearted, concerned with profound ideas, but also at times funny, sentimental, and sarcastic. Unfiltered as only intimate communication can be, they are also full of small fibs, emotional outbursts, inconsistencies, and the joys and sorrows of the moment. The Selected Letters is a deep pleasure to read and to ponder, sure to appeal to those with a special devotion to Cather as well as to those just making her acquaintance.From the Hardcover edition.
This landmark anthology chronicles more than 500 years of Pueblo culture. Lavishly designed in five colors, this eminently readable volume offers a story and mood for everyone and an authentic introduction to the cultural legacy of the ancient peoples of the Southwest.
"Superbly written, with that sensitivity to sunset and afterglow that has always been Miss Cather's."--The New York TimesWilla Cather wrote Shadows on the Rock immediately after her historical masterpiece, Death Comes for the Archbishop. Like its predecessor, this novel of seventeenth-century Quebec is a luminous evocation of North American origins, and of the men and women who struggled to adapt to that new world even as they clung to the artifacts and manners of one they left behind.In 1697, Quebec is an island of French civilization perched on a bare gray rock amid a wilderness of trackless forests. For many of its settlers, Quebec is a place of exile, so remote that an entire winter passes without a word from home. But to twelve-year-old Cécile Auclair, the rock is home, where even the formidable Governor Frontenac entertains children in his palace and beavers lie beside the lambs in a Christmas créche. As Cather follows this devout and resourceful child over the course of a year, she re-creates the continent as it must have appeared to its first European inhabitants. And she gives us a spellbinding work of historical fiction in which great events occur first as rumors and then as legends--and in which even the most intimate domestic scenes are suffused with a sense of wonder.
A classic American writer in every sense, Willa Cather enjoyed both critical and commercial success in her long career, receiving the Pulitzer Prize for the novel One of Ours. Her beloved and enduring novels and stories have long been part of the canon of world literature, and the characters she created remain in the hearts and minds of her readers. Vintage Cather includes sections of the novels Death Comes for the Archbishop, O Pioneers!, One of Ours, The Professor's House and y Antonia;and a generous selection of her stories, including "Coming Aphrodite!"
Willa Cather is considered to be one of the best chroniclers of pioneer life in the 20th century. She had a long and distinguished career writing essays, poems, short stories, and novels. This story is a powerful example of a frequent theme: the haunting, sometimes painful, contrast between city and country life.
Willa Cather was twenty-eight years old in the summer of 1902 when she saw England and France for the first time. Behind her stretched the Nebraska fields of her childhood and still ahead of her the world as it belongs only to great writers. The 1902 journey, coming ten years before she made her literary mark withO Pioneers!, was unrepeatable, special in its effects on her artistic development. After disembarking at Liverpool, she toured the Shropshire country, got swallowed up by London, and then crossed the Channel to other skies--to Rouen, Paris, and the Riviera. These fourteen travel articles, written for a newspaper in Lincoln, Nebraska, and eventually collected and published in book form in 1956, are striking for first impressions colored by a future novelist's feeling for history and for beauty in unexpected forms.
"Whatever is felt upon the page without being specifically named there-that, one might say, is created. " This famous observation appears inWilla Cather on Writing, a collection of essays and letters first published in 1949. In the course of it Cather writes, with grace and piercing clarity, about her own fiction and that of Sarah Orne Jewett, Stephen Crane, and Katherine Mansfield, among others. She concludes, "Art is a concrete and personal and rather childish thing after all-no matter what people do to graft it into science and make it sociological and psychological; it is no good at all unless it is let alone to be itself-a game of make-believe, of re-production, very exciting and delightful to people who have an ear for it or an eye for it. "
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