Happy Women’s History Month! I’m paying tribute to one of my favorite authors: Willa Cather.
Cather was born in Virginia in 1873, and her family moved to Nebraska when she was nine years old. She spent her formative years in Red Cloud, Nebraska. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (So did I!).
Some of her most famous novels are O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, My Ántonia, and Death Comes for the Archbishop (my favorite because it takes place in Santa Fe, NM, and includes characters like Kit Carson). In 1923, she won the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, a novel set during World War I. I cried at the end of that one. Seriously.
Cather passed away in 1947. Her personal life draws tons of speculation today, but I won’t go into all that here. Her writing has a nostalgic, romantic tone that warms my heart. However, she’s drawn extensive literary criticism for years, especially for her watered-down portrayals of war. Nevertheless, according to Susan J. Rosowski she was “the first to give immigrants heroic stature in serious American literature.”