Our story for February is one of Cather’s most beloved stories, “Old Mrs. Harris.”
The story was first serialized in Ladies’ Home Journal beginning in September 1932 with the title, “Three Women.” It is the second story in Cather’s 1932 collection, Obscure Destinies: Three New Stories of the West. It’s sandwiched between “Neighbour Rosicky” and “Two Friends.”
In The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, editors Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout note that “Old Mrs. Harris” is “highly autobiographical” and “could only be published after the death of Cather’s mother, for the character inspired by Virginia Boak Cather, Victoria Templeton, is complex and not altogether attractive” (465). I’m already hooked!
I’ll have a response post up on the morning of Wednesday, February 26th. If you read the story, come back to discuss it on that post or, if you can’t wait, feel free to leave a comment here.
New here? Learn more about the Willa Cather Short Story Project here.