THIS MONTH’S NOVEL
- Cather started writing it in 1918.
- Published on September 8, 1922.
- Won the 1923 Pulitzer Prize.
- Was Cather’s first popular success and it made her financially independent.
- Loosely based on her cousin’s life.
- Cather switched publishers and this was her first novel published with the new kid on the block, Knopf.
Vintage Classic Paperback Description:
Claude Wheeler, the sensitive, aspiring protagonist of this beautifully modulated novel, resembles the youngest son of a peculiarly American fairy tale. His fortune is ready-made for him, but he refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his crass father and pious mother, all but rejected by a wife who reserves her ardor for missionary work, and dissatisfied with farming, Claude is an idealist without an ideal to cling to. It is only when his country enters the First World War that Claude finds what he has been searching for all his life.
In One of Ours Willa Cather explores the destiny of a grandchild of the pioneers, a young Nebraskan whose yearnings impel him toward a frontier bloodier and more distant than the one that vanished before his birth. In doing so, she creates a canny and extraordinarily vital portrait of an American psyche at once skeptical and romantic, restless and heroic.
- Sometimes difficult to find new, but used bookstores often have copies as do most libraries.
- Download a free digital edition from Project Gutenberg here.
- Read the Scholarly Edition online here. The Historical Apparatus section is particularly fascinating if you’re interested in learning more about the novel and Cather’s writing of it, but I recommend you read the essay after reading the novel.
- Support the Willa Cather Foundation and order it online here.
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