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O Pioneers! (The Great Plains Trilogy) (Paperback)
"A direct, human tale of love and struggle and attainment—American in the best sense of the word."—The New York Times
On the windy Nebraska prairie, Alexandra Bergson tends to the failing farm that she inherited from her father. She struggles to raise her brothers on her own. And she is torn by the emergence of an unexpected passion…
A magnificent story, O Pioneers!—Willa Cather’s second novel—has become one of the great classics of American literature, telling a timeless tale of a strong pioneer woman facing extraordinary challenges and conflicts, shining a light on the immigrant experience, and, with its simple, beautiful prose, revealing the emerging voice of one of our greatest authors.
With an Introduction by Marcelle Clements
and an Afterword by Lan Samantha Chang
About the Author
Willa Cather (1873–1948) was born in Winchester, Virginia. Her family moved to Nebraska before she was ten. During her teens she learned both Latin and Greek; she graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1895. She then taught high school, worked for the Pittsburgh Leader, and spent a good deal of time traveling.The Troll Garden (1905) was her first volume of short stories, and it was followed by her appointment as associate editor of McClure’s Magazine. She continued in this position for six years, but resigned in 1912 because she felt that the work for the magazine was interfering with her writing. Alexander’s Bridge, a short novel set in Boston, was published in the same year. In O Pioneers! (1913), she turned to her greatest subject, immigrant life on the Nebraska prairies, and established herself as a major American novelist. O Pioneers! was followed by more novels, including My Ántonia (1918), The Professor’s House (1922), and Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927). Cather lived in New York for many years, and she was a familiar figure in intellectual and literary circles. The Old Beauty and Others, a collection of short stories, was published posthumously.
Marcelle Clements is a novelist and journalist who has contributed articles on culture, the arts, and politics to many national publications. She is the author of two books of nonfiction, The Dog Is Us and The Improvised Woman, and the novels Rock Me and Midsummer.
Lan Samantha Chang is the author of the award-winning books Hunger and Inheritence. A 2008 Guggenheim fellow, she lives with her husband and daughter in Iowa City, Iowa, where she is the director of the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her most recent novel is All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost.
"To reread Cather is to rediscover an arresting chapter in the national past."—Los Angeles Times
"The time will come when she'll be ranked above Hemingway."—Leon Edel