My Antonia

My Antonia

By Willa Cather; Janet Sharistanian (Editor)

Oxford University Press, USA, Paperback, 9780199538140, 228pp.

Publication Date: April 2009

My Antonia is a classic tale of pioneer life in the American Midwest. The novel details daily life in the newly settled plains of Nebraska through the eyes of Jim Burden, who recounts memories of a childhood shared with a girl named Antonia Shimerda, the daughter of a family who have emigrated from Bohemia. As adults, Jim leaves the prairie for college and a career in the east, while Antonia devotes herself to her large family and productive farm. When he returns Jim sees that although Antonia is careworn, she remains "a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races, ." Full of stirring descriptions of the prairie's beautiful yet terrifying landscape, and the rich ethnic mix of immigrants and native-born Americans who chose to restart their lives there, My Antonia mythologized a period of American history that was lost before its value could be understood.
This new edition provides a critically up-to-date introduction and detail notes which put the events and themes of the book in full historical context. Also included are Cather's original and revised introductions to her novel.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

About the Author
A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Willa Cather s work was profoundly influenced by her upbringing in rural Nebraska. During her young adulthood Cather proved herself intelligent and capable, initially training for a career as a medical doctor, but discovered a love of, and talent for, writing while attending the University of Nebraska. Following graduation, Cather worked as a journalist for several women s magazines before becoming a high school teacher; an opportunity work as an editor at McClure s provided Cather with her first chance to publish as the magazine serialized her first novel, Alexander s Bridge, to critical acclaim. This was soon followed by works that have since become best-loved American classics, including My ?ntonia, The Song of the Lark, and her Pulitzer-Prize winner, One of Ours. Cather died in 1947 at the age of 73.

JANET SHARISTANIAN is Associate Professor of English and former Director of the Research Institute on Women at the University of Kansas.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Willa Cather's pioneer tale is often considered a young adult novel � but don't be fooled by the deceptively simple prose. Writer Bradford Morrow says older readers who return to the subtly sophisticated narrative will find new perspectives on their own journeys. More at

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