Willa Cather Is Finally Getting Her Due

At last, literary pioneer Willa Cather is having a moment

Benjamin Taylor’s incisive and accessible biography pays tribute to Cather, whose many books, including ‘My Ántonia’ and ‘A Lost Lady,’ are finally getting their due

By Maureen Corrigan

In the early summer of 2022, I flew into Lincoln, Neb., picked up my rental car and drove into a Willa Cather novel. Stretched out before me was an expanse of farmland alternating with tall, undulating grass. Once in a while, an isolated house would appear in the distance and a truck would rumble by, heading in the opposite direction on the two-lane road. After the prolonged Zoom-box confinement of the pandemic, driving for hours through such an expanse made me giddy. Here’s how Cather, who lived for decades in New York City, described returning home to Red Cloud, Neb., in a 1933 letter to fellow writer Dorothy Canfield Fisher:

“The certainty of countless miles of empty country and open sky and wind and night on every side of me. It’s the happiest feeling I ever have. And when I am most enjoying the lovely things the world is full of, it’s then I am most homesick for just that emptiness and that untainted air.” Read the full piece at the Washington Post.

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