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O Pioneers! (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series) (Hardcover)
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The novel that first made Willa Cather famous—a powerfully mythic tale of the American frontier told through the life of one extraordinary woman—in a handsome hardcover volume.
No other work of fiction so vividly evokes the harsh beauty and epic sweep of the Nebraska prairies that Cather knew and loved. The heroine of O Pioneers!, Alexandra Bergson, is a young Swedish immigrant at the turn of the twentieth century who inherits her father’s windblasted land and, through years of hard work, turns it into a prosperous farm. Fiercely independent, Alexandra sacrifices love and companionship in her passionate devotion to the land, until tragedy strikes and brings with it the chance for a new life.
One of our most beloved classics, one of the great heroines of American literature.
About the Author
Willa Cather (1873–1947) was the author of twelve novels, including My Ántonia and Death Comes for the Archbishop.
Elaine Showalter is the author of A Jury of Her Peers: Celebrating American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx.
The land belongs to the future... that's the way it seems to me....I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother's children. We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it -- for a little while."
O Pioneers! (1913) was Willa Cather's first great novel, and to many it remains her unchallenged masterpiece. No other work of fiction so faithfully conveys both the sharp physical realities and the mythic sweep of the transformation of the American frontier -- and the transformation of the people who settled it. Cather's heroine is Alexandra Bergson, who arrives on the wind-blasted prairie of Hanover, Nebraska, as a girl and grows up to make it a prosperous farm. But this archetypal success story is darkened by loss, and Alexandra's devotion to the land may come at the cost of love itself.
At once a sophisticated pastoral and a prototype for later feminist novels, O Pioneers! is a work in which triumph is inextricably enmeshed with tragedy, a story of people who do not claim a land so much as they submit to it and, in the process, become greater than they were.