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Editorial Reviews

Willa Cather's My Antonia was considered a masterpiece when it was published in 1918 and Cather's star has only risen since then. Frequently shortlisted with Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and Hemingway as one of the early 20th century's American masters, Cather painted a portrait of the Nebraska plains that helped to induct the Midwest to the main stage of American letters. But My Antonia transcends regionalism. Narrator Patrick Lawlor brings a tremulous intensity and a keen insight into this story of a man struggling to understand his relationship to Antonia, a lifelong friend and free spirit of the Nebraska plains.
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Publisher's Summary

After the death of his parents, Jim is sent to live with his grandparents on the Nebraska plains. By chance, on the same train is a bright-eyed girl, Antonia, who will become his neighbor and lifelong friend. Her family has emigrated from Bohemia to start a new life of farming, but they soon lose their money and must work hard just to survive. Through it all, Antonia retains her natural pride and free spirit. Jim's grandparents have a large and tidy farm. They are kind to him, but conventional. Later Jim becomes a scholar and Antonia becomes a "hired girl" in town. She blossoms in the new freedom that town life offers. Jim can only taste this life vicariously through her recounting of town gossip and of the "dance tent". Antonia's strong will, spirit, and honesty allow her to thrive in the midst of hardship.
Cather paints a rich picture of life on the prairie at the beginning of the 20th century and depicts some of the many cultures that came to comprise the United States.
©2002 Tantor Media, Inc. Originally published 1918.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Allison on 09-21-07

An amazingly vivid novel

This novel has such deep descriptions of the praire before and while it was being settled that I actually can picture every place in the novel in my mind. Parts of the novel still haunt my dreams. There are details and compelling descriptions of being snow-bound in cave-like early house and of being a German immigrant settling on the praire straight from the city. Best of all this novel to me celebrates the fact that to be successful in life doesn't have to mean riches and fame but can also mean living a good quite life without disaster and watching your children grow with in the company of old friends.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Char on 02-17-08

A True Portrait of Nebraska

I first read this book back in the very early 70's. My husband was still in college then but became an English teacher. He recommended it and taught it for 35 years in a high school in Omaha. Incredible book. I was born and still live in Nebraska. It is a special view of the immigrants of this prairie land. I recommend it highly. I never take or have the time to read anymore and the iPod and audiobooks have opened up a world that I have missed a lot. I can do all sorts of household chores while listening to a book. This is a special story of the pioneers of Nebraska. Everything except the characters are real and as it really was back then. Will Cather tells it with the depth and magic it deserves.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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