My 聲tonia: Authoritative Text, Contexts and Backgrounds, Criticism

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W.W. Norton, 2015 - Fiction - 506 pages
Set in the Nebraska landscape in a community evocative of Cather's own (Red Cloud), My 聲tonia tells the story of 聲tonia Shimerda, a Bohemian immigrant, and Jim Burden, who like Cather was uprooted from Virginia to the Nebraska prairie. 聲tonia and Jim, like many of the other characters in this 1918 novel, are based on Cather's childhood friends. This Norton Critical Edition is based on the first published edition of the novel. It is accompanied by explanatory footnotes, key illustrations, an introduction that gives readers a historical overview of both author and novel, and a note on the text."Contexts and Backgrounds" is a rich collection of materials organized around the novel's central themes: "Autobiographical and Biographical Writings," "Letters," and "Americanization and Immigration." Willa Cather, Edith Lewis, Latrobe Carroll, Rose C. Feld, Guy Reynolds, Woodrow Wilson, Peter Roberts, Horace M. Kallen, Sarka B. Hrbkova, and Rose Rosicky, among others, are included."Criticism" spans a century of scholarship on Willa Cather and My 聲tonia, from contemporary reviews by Henry Walcott Boynton, H. L. Mencken, and Elia W. Peattie, among others, to recent critical assessments by Terence Martin, Blanche Gelfant, Jean Schwind, Richard H. Millington, Susan Rosowski, Mike Fischer, Janis Stout, Marilee Lindemann, and Linda Joyce Brown.A Chronology of Cather's life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included.

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About the author (2015)

Willa Siebert Cather was born in 1873 in the home of her maternal grandmother in western Virginia. Although she had been named Willela, her family always called her "Willa." Upon graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1895, Cather moved to Pittsburgh where she worked as a journalist and teacher while beginning her writing career. In 1906, Cather moved to New York to become a leading magazine editor at McClure's Magazine before turning to writing full-time. She continued her education, receiving her doctorate of letters from the University of Nebraska in 1917, and honorary degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of California, Columbia, Yale, and Princeton. Cather wrote poetry, short stories, essays, and novels, winning awards including the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours, about a Nebraska farm boy during World War I. She also wrote The Professor's House, My Antonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop, and Lucy Gayheart. Some of Cather's novels were made into movies, the most well-known being A Lost Lady, starring Barbara Stanwyck. In 1961, Willa Cather was the first woman ever voted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners in Oklahoma in 1974, and the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca, New York in 1988. Cather died on April 24, 1947, of a cerebral hemorrhage, in her Madison Avenue, New York home, where she had lived for many years.

Sharon O'Brien is an acclaimed author of both trade and scholarly books and a well-known Cather scholar. She is James Hope Caldwell Professor of American Cultures at Dickinson College. She is the author of Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice; Willa Cather; and The Family Silver: A Memoir of Depression and Inheritance. She is the editor of The Library of America Willa Cather (Volumes I-III) and New Essays on My 聲tonia.

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