Women’s History Month: focus on Willa Cather

Willa Sibert Cather [1873-1947]—writer

–grew up in as part of a wealthy family in northern Virginia
–went to the University of Nebraska
–in 1891, as a freshman at the University of Nebraska, Cather writes an essay about Thomas Carlyle. It is published without her knowledge in the Nebraska State Journal in March.
–Cather becomes literary editor of the Hesperian, student publication of the University of Nebraska. She holds this position from 1892-1893. She’s then managing editor until graduation.
–worked as a reporter in Lincoln, Neb. and then in Pittsburgh
–was an arts critic
–Cather meets and begins a relationship with Isabelle McClung in 1899.
–In 1901 Cather takes a teaching job at a Pittsburgh high school and moves in with Isabelle McClung at the home of McClung’s parents.
–taught high school from 1901-1906.
–At 40, her famous novel O Pioneers was published in 1913.

–also wrote My Antonia [1918], The Song of the Lark [1915] and the Pulitzer-prize winning One of Ours [1922] among many others.
–Cather wrote about independent female protagonists in her book and included themes of frontier development and explored the idea of the small town and what it did to crush individuality.
–In 1929, Cather was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
–On April 24, 1947 — Cather dies from a cerebral hemorrhage in New York City and is buried four days later in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.

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