O Pioneers!

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Oxford University Press, UK, Mar 4, 1999 - Fiction - 224 pages
73 Reviews
Willa Cather's second novel, O Pioneers! (1913) tells the story of Alexandra Bergson and her determination to save her immigrant family's Nebraska farm. By placing a strong, self-reliant woman at the centre of her tale, Cather gives the quintessentially American novel of the soil a radical cast. Yet, although influenced by the democratic utopianism of Walt Whitman and the serene regionalism of Sarah Orne Jewett, O Pioneers! is more than merely an elegy for the lost glories of America's pioneer past. In its rage for order and efficiency, the novel testifies to the cultural politics of the Progressive Era, the period of massive social and economic transformations that helped to modernize the United States in the years between the Civil War and World War. - ;`For the first time, perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward it with love and yearning. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and strong and glorious.' Willa Cather's second novel, O Pioneers! (1913) tells the story of Alexandra Bergson and her determination to save her immigrant family's Nebraska farm. Clear-headed and fiercely independent, Alexandra's passionate faith in the prairie makes her a wealthy landowner. By placing a strong, self-reliant woman at the centre of her tale, Cather gives the quintessentially American novel of the soil a radical cast. Yet, although influenced by the democratic utopianism of Walt Whitman and the serene regionalism of Sarah Orne Jewett, O Pioneers! is more than merely an elegy for the lost glories of America's pioneer past. In its rage for order and efficiency, the novel testifies to the cultural politics of the Progressive Era, the period of massive social and economic transformations that helped to modernize the United States in the years between the Civil War and World War. -

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User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

I always had in the back of mind while I was reading this book that it had been written in a much more conservative time. I suspect that it pushed the limits more back then than it feels to be doing ... Read full review

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User Review  - MelissaLenhardt - LibraryThing

Uncharacteristically, I managed to read more than half of this novel without reading the back of book blurb. When I did and saw the word "murder" I laughed. How could such a quiet, deliberate book ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Marilee Lindemann is Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland.

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