My Antonia by Willa Cather

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I did not expect a kind of love story. And I didn't expect it to be so readable. I am still haunted by the story of the wolves chasing the wedding party. And I love Jim's nostalgic tone...
-Lit Chick

Synopsis

In this symphonically powerful novel, Willa Cather created one of the most winning heroines in American fiction, a woman whose robust high spirits and calm, undemonstrative strength are emblematic of the virtues Cather most admired in her country.

Antonia Shimerda is the daughter of Bohemian immigrants struggling with the oceanic loneliness of life on the Nebraska prairie. Through the eyes of Jim Burden, her tutor and disappointed admirer, we follow Antonia from farm to town and through hardships both natural and human, surviving everything from poverty to a failed romance--and not only surviving, but triumphing. In the end, Antonia is exactly what Burden says she is: a woman who "had that something which fires the imagination, [a woman who] could stop . . . one's breath for a moment by a look or a gesture that somehow revealed the meaning in common things."


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Willa Cather

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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.
 
Published January 21, 2016 by Rainbow Classics. 276 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Business & Economics, Westerns, Romance, Children's Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Action & Adventure, Cooking, Erotica, War, Young Adult, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Arts & Photography, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for My Antonia
All: 9 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 2

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Kevin on Apr 28 2005

I realize there are literary, historical, and even political issues involved (modernism, the idealized frontier, Cather’s suspected lesbianism, etc.) but I really just enjoyed it as a great story written with skill and artistry.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Kevin on Apr 28 2005

I realize there are literary, historical, and even political issues involved (modernism, the idealized frontier, Cather’s suspected lesbianism, etc.) but I really just enjoyed it as a great story written with skill and artistry.

Read Full Review of My Antonia | See more reviews from Blog Critics

The Blue Bookcase

Good
Reviewed by Ingrid on Mar 06 2012

...I loved it. The characterization in this book is absolutely phenomenal. I especially appreciated how Cather showed Antonia develop into a strong, independent woman.

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Chrisbookarama

Good
on May 26 2007

Like in O Pioneers!, Cather paints with her words. The prairie comes to life on the page...it’s a lovely read.

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Iris on Books

Above average
on Jul 25 2011

There was something that kept me from completely loving this story. Maybe it was the said “alien feel”? Rather, I think it may have been the very structure of the novel that at times made me look at it more with interested eyes, to see how this was written, instead of feeling completely engaged with Antonia and Jim’s story.

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A Work in Progress

Above average
on Aug 04 2010

Although this is a relatively simple and fast read, it's a carefully (and interestingly) structured novel.

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Life Is Too Short To Read Bad Books

Below average
Reviewed by Kris on Feb 10 2012

I couldn’t help comparing it to The Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner and how the story of those pioneering people really did reach me and I could easily imagine them as real people. Cather didn’t bring that home to me with this novel. I can see why some would love it, I’m just not one of them.

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Jo-Jo Loves to Read

Good
Reviewed by JO-JO on Feb 03 2010

I found it interesting how Antonia had such a close relationship with her father, as my Grandma's father/daughter relationship was similar. My Grandma will still tell you to this day about the hollyhocks that she grew by her house in the summer. This was a beautiful story and it also created a great book club discussion for my group.

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Lit Chick

Above average
on Jan 15 2011

I did not expect a kind of love story. And I didn't expect it to be so readable. I am still haunted by the story of the wolves chasing the wedding party. And I love Jim's nostalgic tone...

Read Full Review of My Antonia

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79%

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