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Old 12-22-2008, 11:08 AM   #1
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Cather, Willa: Song of the Lark. 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.

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Set in the 1890s in Moonstone, a fictional place supposedly located in Colorado, The Song of the Lark is the self-portrait of an artist in the making. The story revolves around an ambitious young heroine, Thea Kronborg, who leaves her hometown to go to the big city to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous opera star. The novel captures Thea's independent-mindedness, her strong work ethic, and her ascent to her highest achievement. At each step along the way, her realization of the mediocrity of her peers propels her to greater levels of accomplishment, but in the course of her ascent she must discard those relationships which no longer serve her.
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