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Born: 1873, Gore, Virginia Died: 1947, New York City, New York Years Active: 1912-1947 Literary Movement: American Realism, Modernism
Cather and Queer Experience
Source: When Wise Women Speak
Willa Cather: Queering America by Marilee LindemannAlthough it has been posthumously proven that Willa Cather had lesbian relationships, she did not openly celebrate lesbian desire, and is sometimes described as homophobic and mysogynistic. In this study of Cather's life and work, the author aims to show her sexual coming-of-age occurred at a time when a cultural transition was recasting love between women as sexual deviance rather than romantic friendship.
Willa Cather and Material Culture by Janis P. StoutA compilation of essays focusing on the significance of material culture to Cather's work and Cather scholarship. Willa Cather and Material Culture is a collection of 11 new essays that tap into a recent and resurgent interest among Cather scholars in addressing her work and her career through the lens of cultural studies. One of the volume's primary purposes is to demonstrate the extent to which Cather did participate in her culture and to correct the commonplace view of her as a literary connoisseur set apart from her times. The contributors explore both the objects among which Cather lived and the objects that appear in her writings, as well as the commercial constraints of the publishing industry in which her art was made and marketed. Essays address her relationship to quilts both personally and as symbols in her work; her contributions to domestic magazines such as Home Monthly and Woman's Home Companion; the problematic nature of Hollywood productions of her work; and her efforts and successes as a businesswoman. By establishing the centrality of material matters to her writing, these essays contribute to the reclaiming of Cather as a modernist and highlight the significance of material culture, in general, to the study of American literature.
Call Number: PS3505.A87 Z93525 2005
Publication Date: 2005
The Cambridge Companion to Willa Cather by Marilee Lindemann (Editor)The Cambridge Companion to Willa Cather offers thirteen original essays by leading scholars of a major American modernist novelist. Willa Cather's luminous prose is 'easy' to read yet surprisingly difficult to understand. The essays collected here are theoretically informed but accessibly written and cover the full range of Cather's career, including most of her twelve novels and several of her short stories. The essays situate Cather's work in a broad range of critical, cultural, and literary contexts, and the introduction explores current trends in Cather scholarship as well as the author's place in contemporary culture. With a detailed chronology and a guide to further reading, the volume offers students and teachers a fresh and thorough sense of the author of My ntonia, The Professor's House, and Death Comes for the Archbishop.
Call Number: PS3505.A87 Z59155 2005
Publication Date: 2005
Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism by Joan AcocellaExpanding on her absorbing and controversial 1995 New Yorker article, Joan Acocella examines the politics of Willa Cather criticism: how Cather's work has been seized upon and often distorted by critics on both the left and the right. Acocella argues that the central element of Cather's works was not a political agenda but rather a tragic vision of life. This beautifully written book makes a significant contribution to Cather studies and, at the same time, points out the follies of political criticism in the study of all literature.
Call Number: PS3505.A87 Z545 2000
Publication Date: 2000
Willa Cather by Janis P. StoutPrevious biographies of Willa Cather have either recycled the traditional view of a writer detached from social issues whose work supported a wholesome view of a vanished America, or they have focused solely on revelations about her private life. Challenging these narrow interpretations, Janis P. Stout presents a Cather whose life and quietly modernist work fully reflected the artistic and cultural tensions of her day. A product of the South--she was born in Virginia--Cather went west with her family at an early age, a participant in the aspirations of Manifest Destiny. Known for her celebrations of immigrants on the prairie, she in fact shared many of the ethnic suspicions of her contemporaries. Loved by a popular audience for her pieties of family and religion, she was in her youth a freethinker who resisted traditional patterns for women's lives, cutting her hair like a boy's and dressing in men's clothing. Seen by critics since the 1930s as a practitioner of an escapist formalism, she was, in Stout's view, profoundly ambivalent about most of the important questions she faced. Cather structured her writing to control her uncertainty and project a serenity she did not in fact feel. Cather has at times been viewed as a writer preoccupied with the past whose literary project had little to do with the intellectual currents of her time. On the contrary, Stout argues, Cather was a full participant in the doubts and conflicts of twentieth-century modernity. Only in recoil from her distress at these conflicts did she turn to overt celebrations of the past and construct a retiring, crotchety persona. The Cather that emerges from Stout's treatment is a modernist conservative in the mold of T. S. Eliot, though more responsive to her time and simultaneously less assured in her pronouncements. Cather's sexuality, too, is more complicated in Stout's version than previous biographers have allowed. Willa Cather: The Writer and Her World presents a woman and an artist who fully exemplifies the ambivalence, the foreboding, and above all the complexity that we associate with the twentieth-century mind.
O Pioneers! by Willa CatherOften overshadowed by MY ÁNTONIA, O PIONEERS! tells the story of an immigrant pioneer woman's quest to live an independent life on the Nebraskan plains at the turn of the twentieth century.
Call Number: PS3505.A87 A15 1937 v.1
Publication Date: 1913
My Ántonia by Willa CatherOften considered Cather's masterpiece, MY ÁNTONIA tells the story of an orphaned immigrant boy and his free-spirited female best friend as they navigate pioneer life at the turn of the twentieth century.
Call Number: PS3505.A87 M97 1961
Publication Date: 1918
The Song of the Lark by Willa CatherCather's third novel tells the story of a young singer growing up and finding success amidst the changing midwestern landscape of the early 20th century.