“I've seen it before. There are women who spread ruin through no fault of theirs, just by being too beautiful, too ful of life and love. They can't help it. Poeple come to them as people go to a warm fire in winter.” ― Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
O Pioneers by Willa Cather is story of a family of Sweedish immigrants who settle in a fictional town in Nebraska. When her father dies, Alexandra Bergson inherits the family farm and is determined to see it succeed, even at a time when many immigrant families are leaving the prarie.
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My Ántonia, a novel by Willa Cather, tells the story of friendship between Ántonia Shimerda—a young woman who moves to the Midwestern prairie with her bohemian family—and Jim Burden, an orphaned child who moves from Virginia to the Midwest to be with his grandparents. The narrative is majorly told from the perspective of Burden, almost peripherally, as a memoir of his childhood in Nebraska. It is here where he meets Ántonia and her family, his new neighbors. Eager to learn, Jim teaches Ántonia English and they become fast friends.
When Ántonia’s father tragically commits suicide, Ántonia discontinues her lessons with Jim and begins to work on the farm where she and Jim share countless memorable experiences together. After being accepted into Lincoln University, Jim moves away. Meanwhile, Ántonia copes with being abandoned by her fiancée and bearing an illegitimate child. When Jim graduates he returns to Nebraska and visits her before he starts law school, promising her that he’d visit again very soon. Despite keeping in touch, it is not until twenty years after this meeting that they meet again. Although in very different places in their lives, they pick up where they left off—the bond they formed as children remaining completely intact.
A classic story by renowned American author Willa Cather, My Ántonia is a timeless tale of a lifelong friendship.
Evoking the harsh grandeur of the prairie, this landmark of American fiction unfurls a saga of love, greed, murder, failed dreams, and hard-won triumph. In the fateful interaction of her characters, Willa Cather compares with keen insight the experiences of Swedish, French, and Bohemian immigrants in the United States. And in her absorbing narrative, she displays the virtuoso storytelling skills that have made her one of the most admired masters of the American novel.
On his journey to Nebraska, Jim, a young orphan, meets a family of Bohemian immigrants, the Shimerdas. The novel traces the friendship between Jim and the Shimerdas' eldest daughter, Antonia, as they grow up, weathering difficult winters and family tragedy. MY ANTONIA is a seminal piece of American literature and a masterpiece of the American West.