Friday, June 26, 2009

Feature Fridays

Today's classic is My Ántonia (1918) by Willa Cather.


Widely recognized as Willa Cather’s greatest novel, My Ántonia is a soulful and rich portrait of a pioneer woman’s simple yet heroic life. The spirited daughter of Bohemian immigrants, Ántonia must adapt to a hard existence on the desolate prairies of the Midwest. Enduring childhood poverty, teenage seduction, and family tragedy, she eventually becomes a wife and mother on a Nebraska farm. A fictional record of how women helped forge the communities that formed a nation, My Ántonia is also a hauntingly eloquent celebration of the strength, courage, and spirit of America’s early pioneers.

Excerpt from beginning of chapter 1...
I first heard of Ántonia on what seemed to me an interminable journey across the great midland plain of North America. I was ten years old then; I had lost both my father and mother within a year, and my Virginia relatives were sending me out to my grandparents, who lived in Nebraska. I travelled in the care of a mountain boy, Jake Marpole, one of the `hands' on my father's old farm under the Blue Ridge, who was now going West to work for my grandfather. Jake's experience of the world was not much wider than mine. He had never been in a railway train until the morning when we set out together to try our fortunes in a new world.
Do you think you remember it well? Take the quiz at SparkNotes.

Read all of My Ántonia online at Classic Reader.

Have you read My Ántonia? Have you read the other 2 books in Willa Cather's prairie trilogy--O Pioneers! & The Song of the Lark?
If you missed the news, our July book is The Middle Place!
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