Willa Cather in Person: Interviews, Speeches, and Letters

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$14.23
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $3.02
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 82%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $3.02   
  • New (6) from $9.85   
  • Used (7) from $3.02   

Overview

As she grew older Willa Cather became ever more private, complaining of favor-seekers and other parasites of fame. But in her long career she granted thirty-four interviews, gave six public speeches, and published ten letters, discussing literature and the artistic life and illuminating her own life and writing. These fugitive pieces, here gathered for the first time, reveal the author's early thirst for fame and the reasons for her later renunciation of it.

Included are Cather's radio speech accepting the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for fiction (awarded for One of Ours), accounts of her other speeches, interviews conducted by Louise Bogan and Stephen Vincent Benét, and six little-known portraits of Cather.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

South Atlantic Review
"A valuable book. Bohlke gives us access to complete texts, and his headnotes establish the context and significance of individual entries."—South Atlantic Review.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Deriving from newspapers and magazines, and now first published in book form, this collection of ephemeral materials helps complete our picture of a major American novelist. An accomplished journalist herself, a reluctant public speaker and a splendid letter writer, Willa Cather felt that the press had become her enemy in later years. That she was uncomfortable with fame is evident in these interviews, which range from 1897, when she was a young mgazine editor, to 1940, when as a famous literary figure she talked with Stephen and Rosemary Benet. Nevertheless, since the interviews provide new insights into Cather's theory of fiction and the art of writing, they will be important to students and specialists. Bohlke teaches English at Bard College. Illustrations not seen by PW. (June)
Studies in the Novel - Barbara Blair
"What emerges from [this] collection is valuable for anyone interested in the art of writing, in the genesis of the writer, or in the shape of American culture in the first decades of this century."—Barbara Bair, Studies in the Novel
Booklist
"Cather's public utterances were expressed with the same honesty and clarity that distinguish her immaculate novels and short stories. As happens when experiencing Cather's fiction, the reader of these words warms to her gentle passion and quiet eloquence."—Booklist
Modern Fiction Studies
"Bohlke's work throughout is intelligent, thorough, and enlightening."—Modern Fiction Studies
Studies in the Novel
"[This] collection is valuable for anyone intersted in the art of writing, in the genesis of the writer, or in the shape of American culture in the first decades of this century."—Studies in the Novel
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803263260
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1990
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 202
  • Sales rank: 846,238
  • Product dimensions: 0.50 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Willa Cather
L. Brent Bohlke was a professor of English and chaplain for Bard College in New York. His essays on Cather appeared in American Literature, Great Plains Quarterly, Western Literature, and other journals.

Biography

Wilella Sibert Cather was born on December 7, 1873, in the small Virginia farming community of Winchester. When she was ten years old, her parents moved the family to the prairies of Nebraska, where her father opened a farm mortgage and insurance business. Home-schooled before enrolling in the local high school, Cather had a mind of her own, changing her given name to Willa and adopting a variation of her grandmother's maiden name, Seibert, as her middle name.

During Cather's studies at the University of Nebraska, she worked as a drama critic to support herself and published her first piece of short fiction, "Peter," in a Boston magazine. After graduation, her love of music and intellectual pursuits inspired her to move to Pittsburgh, where she edited the family magazine Home Monthly, wrote theater criticism for the Pittsburgh Daily Leader, and taught English and Latin in local high schools. Cather's big break came with the publication of her first short story collection, The Troll Garden (1905). The following year she moved to New York City to work for McClure's Magazine as a writer and eventually the magazine's managing editor.

Considered one of the great figures of early-twentieth-century American literature, Willa Cather derived much of her inspiration from the American Midwest, which she considered her home. Never married, she cherished her many friendships, some of which she had maintained since childhood. Her intimate coterie of women writers and artists motivated Cather to produce some of her best work. Sarah Orne Jewett, a successful author from Maine whom Cather had met during her McClure's years, inspired her to devote herself full-time to creating literature and to write about her childhood, which she did in several novels of the prairies. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for her novel about World War I, called One of Ours.

She won many other awards, including a gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Prix Femina Americaine. On April 24, 1947, two years after publishing her last novel, Willa Cather died in New York City of a cerebral hemorrhage. Among Cather's other accomplishments were honorary doctorate degrees from Columbia, Princeton, and Yale Universities.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of O, Pioneers!.

Good To Know

When Cather first arrived at the University of Nebraska, she dressed as William Cather, her opposite sex twin.

Cather was the first woman voted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame, in 1961.

She spent forty years of her life with her companion, Edith Lewis, in New York City.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Wilella Sibert Cather (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 7, 1873
    2. Place of Birth:
      Winchester, Virginia
    1. Date of Death:
      April 27, 1947
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)