Willa Cather: A Biography

Overview

Willa Cather's childhood in post-Civil War Virginia, her adolescence on the Nebraska prairies, her love of the Southwest, and her intimate knowledge of opera and the theater provided her with the characters and setting for a dozen novels and numerous short stories. Cather's story is one of a woman who carefully guarderd her privacy while expressing her feelings and attitudes through the characters she created.
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Overview

Willa Cather's childhood in post-Civil War Virginia, her adolescence on the Nebraska prairies, her love of the Southwest, and her intimate knowledge of opera and the theater provided her with the characters and setting for a dozen novels and numerous short stories. Cather's story is one of a woman who carefully guarderd her privacy while expressing her feelings and attitudes through the characters she created.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 12 up.

Willa Cather (1873-1947) was probably the last American writer in the late 19th-century realist tradition. Born in Virginia and raised in Nebraska, her best remembered works (e.g., O, Pioneers!, My Antonia) recreate a long-vanished prairie life. It is interesting learning about her roots, but the woman herself is a far more fascinating topic. She resisted feminine fashion trends, cutting her hair to boys' length and wearing neckties through high school and half of college. She was the first female editor of a major magazine (McClure's), edited and revised the autobiography of Mary Baker Eddy of Christian Science fame, won a Pulitzer Prize, and caused many an upper class mother's despair by catching the heart of her marriageable daughter. For starters, Milton Meltzer's latest entry in the "Literary Greats" series is another thorough and competent biography for young readers. The volume is library-bound and peppered with nicely-reproduced photographs. Its backmatter includes a chronology of Cather's life, source notes, bibliographies, Internet resources, and an index. It should enhance any library. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up- Meltzer describes the life of this Pulitzer Prize-winning author in a concise, easy-to-follow text. Cather was born in Virginia but raised on the Nebraska plains from the time she was nine. Her early experiences shaped her writing and influenced her characters for the rest of her life. Meltzer does a fine job of explaining the times in which she lived; Cather defied convention by excelling in fields not usually entered by women. Her intellect and determination made her a successful teacher, reporter, magazine editor, and author. The issue of her apparent lesbianism is broached almost apologetically, her close "bonds," including living arrangements with other women, described discreetly. Cather's ties to wealthy and influential people are chronicled in detail as are her inspirations for most of her famous works. Black-and-white photos with informative captions adorn almost every page. A solid resource for reports.-Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822576044
  • Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books (CT)
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Series: American Literary Greats Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Library Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Milton Meltzer has written over one hundred books for young people. In 2001 Meltzer was the recipient of the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, honoring his lifetime body of work. He has twice been nominated for the National Book Award.
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Table of Contents

Introduction     9
Willie of Virginia     10
What Will the Neighbors Think?     19
Seeing Your Name in Print!     34
Married Nightingales Seldom Sing     46
Teacher and Traveler     57
A Challenge in New York     66
To Write about Life, You Must Live It     76
Cliff Dwellers-and Pioneers     80
A Passion for Music     85
A Hidden City-A New Novel     92
My Antonia     98
One of Ours: A Pulitzer Prize     104
When the World Broke in Two     112
Peace-and Serenity     120
The Great Depression     124
A Circle of Friends     130
Virginia: Beginning and Ending     135
Chronology of Willa Cather     143
Source Notes     147
Selected Bibliography     150
Reading Willa Cather Herself     153
Internet Resources     156
Index     157
About the Author     160
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