Daily Archives for: November 4th, 2018

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (1913)

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather is one of this esteemed American author’s most iconic novels. One of her earliest full-length works, it was published in 1913. Written in the kind of  spare, lyric prose that would become her trademark, the story explores themes of destiny, chance, love, and perseverance. It honors the ideas of community, family ties, and the dignity of work. Never sentimental or verbose, Cather delivers her plots with gentle forward motion. Her characters may be flawed, but they’re rarely weak. 

The novel’s central character, Alexandra Bergson, is her parents’ only daughter and oldest child. The Bergsons are Swedish immigrants working the Nebraska prairie land. The Bergsons encounter hardship, naturally. The unforgiving land is difficult to farm, the climate is harsh, and their neighbors, an amalgam of European immigrants, don’t always live harmoniously.  Read More→

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