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Alexander's Bridge

by Willa Cather

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 Bohemian Girl

by Willa Cather

A short story from the Classic Shorts collection: The Bohemian Girl by Willa Cather

Collected Stories

by Willa Cather

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.

Death Comes for the Archbishop

by Willa Cather

Willa Cather's best known novel; a narrative that recounts a life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Enchanted Bluff

by Willa Cather

A short story from the Classic Shorts collection: The Bohemian Girl by Willa Cather

Eric Hermannson's Soul

by Willa Cather

A short story from the Classic Shorts collection: The Bohemian Girl by Willa Cather

A Lost Lady

by Willa Cather

The Forresters are known for their gatherings, and Mrs. Forrester, to be an enchanting hostess. Neil Herbert, finds himself at the Forester estate playing with friends, and he falls in love with Mrs. Forrester, and what she represents.

A Lost Lady

by Willa Cather

A portrait of a woman who reflects the conventions of her age even as she defies them and whose transformations embody the decline and coarsening of the American frontier.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Lucy Gayheart

by Willa Cather

"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.From the Trade Paperback edition.

My Ántonia

by Willa Cather

'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.' Set against the vast Nebraska prairie, Cather's elegiac novel features one of the most winning heroines in American fiction--Antonia Shimerda--a young woman whose strength and passion epitomize the triumphant vitality of this country's pioneers. 'If, as is often said, every novelist is born to write one thing, then the one thing that Willa Cather was born to write was first fully realized in My Antonia,' observed Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner. 'The prose is. . .flexible, evocative; the structure at once free and intricately articulated; the characters stretch into symbolic suggestiveness as naturally as trees cast shadows in the long light of a prairie evening; the theme is the fully exposed, complexly understood theme of the American orphan or exile, struggling to find a place between an Old World left behind and a New World not yet created. . . . No writer ever posed that essential aspect of the American experience more warmly, with more nostalgic lyricism, or with a surer understanding of what it means.'

My Antonia

by Willa Cather

My Ántonia is one of eight classic American novels featured in the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read initiative, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read provides citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities and is supported by expansive outreach and publicity campaigns. Over one hundred communities will participate in 2007, each with a program lasting approximately one month. A kick-off event is followed by panel discussions, film screenings, and lectures or public readings devoted to the book.Willa Cather's heartfelt novel is the unforgettable story of an immigrant woman's life on the hardscrabble Nebraska plains. Through Jim Burden's affectionate reminiscence of his childhood friend, the free-spirited Ántonia Shimerda, a larger, uniquely American portrait emerges, both of a community struggling with unforgiving terrain and of a woman who, amid great hardship, stands as a timeless inspiration.

My Mortal Enemy

by Willa Cather

First published in 1926, this book is Cather's sparest and most dramatic novel, a dark and oddly prescient portrait of a marriage that subverts our oldest notions about the nature of happiness and the sanctity of the hearth.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Not Under Forty

by Willa Cather

For Willa Cather, "the world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts. " The whole legacy of Western civilization stood on the far side of World War I, and in the spiritually impoverished present she looked back to that. To that she directed readers of these essays, declaring that anyone under forty years old would not be interested in them. But she was wrong: since its first publication in 1936, "Not Under Forty" has appealed to readers of all ages who share Cather's concern for excellence, for what endures, in literature and in life.

O Pioneers!

by Willa Cather

The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman, writes Willa Cather. The country is America; the woman is Alexandra Bergson, a fiercely independent young Swedish immigrant who inherits her father's Nebraska farm. With strength, courage, and determination, Alexandra transforms her father's patch of prairie into a highly profitable business. A gripping saga of love, murder, greed, failure, and triumph, O Pioneers! vividly portrays the hardships of prairie life. Above all, it champions the belief that hard work is the surest road to personal fulfillment. Described in The New York Times as "American in the best sense of the word," O Pioneers! celebrates the men and women who struggled to build a nation. Newly designed and typeset in a modern 6-by-9-inch format by Waking Lion Press.

O Pioneers!

by Willa Cather

Book Description A timeless tale of a strong pioneer woman facing great challenges.

O Pioneers!

by Doris Grumbach Willa Cather

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.

One of Ours

by Willa Cather

Willa Cather's Pulitzer Prize-winning narrative of the making of a young American soldierClaude Wheeler, the sensitive, aspiring protagonist of this beautifully modulated novel, resembles the youngest son of a peculiarly American fairy tale. His fortune is ready-made for him, but he refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his crass father and pious mother, all but rejected by a wife who reserves her ardor for missionary work, and dissatisfied with farming, Claude is an idealist without an ideal to cling to. It is only when his country enters the First World War that Claude finds what he has been searching for all his life.In One of Ours Willa Cather explores the destiny of a grandchild of the pioneers, a young Nebraskan whose yearnings impel him toward a frontier bloodier and more distant than the one that vanished before his birth. In doing so, she creates a canny and extraordinarily vital portrait of an American psyche at once skeptical and romantic, restless and heroic.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Paul's Case

by Willa Cather

The 42 page article was extracted from the book: Youth and the Bright Medusa, by Willa Cather.

Paul's Case: a Study in Temperament

by Willa Cather

His teachers felt this afternoon that his whole attitude was symbolized by his shrug and his flippantly red carnation flower, and they fell upon him without mercy, his English teacher leading the pack. He stood through it smiling, his pale lips parted over his white teeth. (His lips were continually twitching, and be had a habit of raising his eyebrows that was contemptuous and irritating to the last degree.) Older boys than Paul had broken down and shed tears under that baptism of fire, but his set smile did not once desert him, and his only sign of discomfort was the nervous trembling of the fingers that toyed with the buttons of his overcoat, and an occasional jerking of the other hand that held his hat. Paul was always smiling, always glancing about him, seeming to feel that people might be watching him and trying to detect something. This conscious expression, since it was as far as possible from boyish mirthfulness, was usually attributed to insolence or "smartness."

The Professor's House

by Willa Cather

A study in emotional dislocation and renewal--Professor Godfrey St. Peter, a man in his 50's, has achieved what would seem to be remarkable success. When called on to move to a more comfortable home, something in him rebels.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Sapphira and the Slave Girl

by Willa Cather

Sapphira Dodderidge, a Virginia lady of the 19th century, marries beneath her and becomes irrationally jealous of Nancy, a beautiful slave. One of Cather's later works.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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