|12-22-2008, 08:01 AM||#1|
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Cather, Willa: O Pioneers!. V1. 22 Dec 2008
Willa Sibert Cather (December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947) was an American author who grew up in Nebraska. She is best known for her depictions of frontier life on the Great Plains in novels such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark.
Cather received both national and state honors. In 1973, the United States Postal Service honored Willa Cather by using her image on a postage stamp. In 1981 the US Mint created the Willa Cather medallion, a half-ounce gold coin.
Cather was elected to the Nebraska Hall of Fame. In 1986, Cather was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Her alma mater, the University of Nebraska-incoln, named residence halls after both Cather and her college friend Louise Pound. Pound had a lifelong career as professor of English at the university and was the first woman president of the Modern Language Association.
Alexandra Bergson is the eldest child of a Swedish immigrant family newly arrived in the harsh untamed landscape of the American West. An original, determined child, she is driven by two forces: her fierce protective love for her younger brother, and a deep love of the beautiful country she has come to regard as her own. When her father dies, it is she who becomes the head of the family and struggles to soften the wild overgrown soil that surrounds her, nurturing it until, finally, it rewards her with a richness beyond measure..
O Pioneers! tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish immigrants in the farm country near the fictional town of Hanover, Nebraska, at the turn of the 20th century. The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inherits the family farmland when her father dies, and she devotes her life to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time when other immigrant families are giving up and leaving the prairie. The novel is also concerned with two romantic relationships - one between Alexandra and family friend Carl Linstrum, and another between Alexandra's brother Emil and the married Marie Shabata.
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