Willa Cather

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August 19, 2012
Biography of Willa Cather
Comp. 1 Period 2

Biography of Willa Cather
Willa Cather is well known author, mostly recognized for her novels based on the pioneer life of Great Plains. Cather’s first novel, Alexander’s Bridge, was published in 1912. Cather was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1922, for her novel, One of Ours.

Willa Cather was born in Virginia in 1873, the oldest of seven children. Cather moved with her family to Red Cloud, Nebraska at age eight. This new home would provide the setting for most of Cather’s novels. Cather later moved to Lincoln, Nebraska to attend the University of Nebraska, although at the time Cather was considering studying medicine. It was not until a paper from a writing class was published that Cather began to consider writing as a career.

Cather had great success in her early years after college. For five years, from 1901 to 1906, Cather worked as an English teacher. Cather eventually moved to New York to work for McClure’s magazine. Cather rose throughout the magazine and eventually became the managing editor. After five years Cather left McClure’s magazine to focus more on her own writing.

After Cather’s departure from McClure’s Cather published several books, all focusing on the pioneer lifestyle. Cather even won a Pulitzer Prize. After Cather’s success, she had a period of mild depression. Although it has been mentioned that Cather’s depression may have produced some of her greatest works, which were written during this period.

Willa Cather was greatly influenced in her writing by Flaubert, Tolstoy, Dickens, and Emerson. Cather looked to Tolstoy as an exceptional example of fictional writing. While Cather greatly admired male authors, it is said that Cather regarded other female authors as overly emotional and sentimental.

Willa Cather was a successful author, who wrote about the struggles of pioneer lifestyle throughout the mid to late 1800’s. Cather published many novels that are still...
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