Among Cather’s lush descriptions of the Midwestern American landscape in My Ántonia are gems of prose like this: “That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” Cather’s simple, eloquent novel tells the story of the Bohemian girl Ántonia and her communion with the harsh, unforgiving land, the only source of true happiness she knows. This new volume includes critical reviews and discussion questions.
Gordon Tapper is Assistant Professor of English at DePauw University. Tapper has
published numerous reviews and articles, and Routledge will publish his dissertation The Machine that Sings: Modernism, Hart Crane, and the Culture of the Body in 2003.
My Antonia (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
FROM OUR EDITORS
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Willa Cather's masterful portrait of prairie culture, based on her own life. Against Nebraska's panoramic landscape, Cather recreates the life of an immigrant girl who becomes, in the memories of narrator Jim Burden, the epitome of strong and dignifed womanhood.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
“No romantic novel ever written in America . . . is one half so
beautiful as My Ántonia.”
H. L. Mencken
Widely recognized as Willa Cather’s greatest novel, My
Ántonia is a soulful and rich portrait of a pioneer
woman’s simple yet heroic life. The spirited daughter of
Bohemian immigrants, Ántonia must adapt to a hard existence on
the desolate prairies of the Midwest. Enduring childhood poverty,
teenage seduction, and family tragedy, she eventually becomes a wife
and mother on a Nebraska farm. A fictional record of how women helped
forge the communities that formed a nation, My Ántonia
is also a hauntingly eloquent celebration of the strength, courage,
and spirit of America’s early pioneers.
Gordon Tapper is Assistant Professor of English at DePauw
University. He is the author of The Machine That Sings: Modernism,
Hart Crane, and the Culture of the Body, from Routledge.
"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."
Ántonia Shimerda returns to Black Hawk, Nebraska, to make a fresh start after eloping with a railway conductor following the tragic death of her father. Accustomed to living in a sod house and toiling alongside the men in the fields, she is unprepared for the lecherous reaction her lush sensuality provokes when she moves to the city. Despite betrayal and crushing opposition, Ántonia steadfastly pursues her quest for happiness–a moving struggle that mirrors the quiet drama of the American landscape.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
No romantic novel ever written in America, by man or woman, is one half so beautiful as My ﾽntonia.
H. L. Mencken