Our first Cather story for 2023 was originally a two parter. “The Affair at Grover Station” was first published in Library in June 1900. It involves a train, a ball (of the dance variety), a murder, and apparently a ghost. I’m looking forward to this one!
You can read the story over on the Willa Cather Archive. Part One was published on June 16, 1900 and Part Two was published a week later on June 23rd. Lucky us, we don’t have to wait to find out what happens.
Read or Listen
This is super cool — there is a LibriVox recording of the story. It is part of a collection of 15 stories, Short Ghost and Horror Collection 006. It is the first story of the collection and stories are listed individually so you can pick and choose if there are others you’d also like to listen to or just zero in on the Cather. If you haven’t used LibriVox before, you can stream the story from their website or download the whole collection. LibriVox is free. Or if you don’t want to mess with anything, here is a direct link to the MP3 for the story (theoretically, your device or browser should open a player for you and you’ll just have to hit play). They provide a PDF of the full text that you can download.
There is also a BCC Radio Drama based on “The Affair at Grover Station.” It broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on December 27, 1997. I listened to the first few minutes and it sounds good. But as it is a dramatization I stopped listening and will first read the story.
I feel like we’re off to a great start this year!
Below is our reading list for 2023. The Willa Cather Short Story Project wraps up in 2024 (with only six stories).
Read “The Affair at Grover Station” sometime this month and come back to discuss it on the response post I’ll share on January 25th, the fourth Wednesday of the month. Or, feel free to read it now and comment here if you can’t wait until then!
New to this blog? Learn more about the Willa Cather Short Story Project here. In a nutshell, we read one Cather short story a month. I remind everyone of what story we’re reading on the second Wednesday of the month and then share a response on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Jump in anytime!
Chris, I’ve been wanting to join your Willa Cather project for a long time, but felt it’s not the good time, since I haven’t had the copy. But after seeing your post yesterday, I found a nice Delphi’s complete works of WC in google playbook. And so, I bought it (it’s only $2 – why haven’t I bought this before?!) I was so excited to find all 12 short stories for 2023 are included in my copy.
So, without further ado, I’m in!! 😉
Fanda! I’m thrilled you are in! I checked out Delphi Classics and noticed that their standard edition of Cather’s Collected Works (https://www.delphiclassics.com/shop/willa-cather/) is not available to customers in the US and won’t be until 2044. This must be due to copyright issues. I checked the US edition that they offer (https://www.delphiclassics.com/shop/willa-cather-us-version/) and it contains all but two of the stories we’ll be reading this year (“The Namesake” and “The Joy of Nelly Deane”). Those are available via the Willa Cather Archive (https://cather.unl.edu/writings/shortfiction). But how nice to have an ebook with all of her writings in once place.
At first I tried the Willa Cather archive (it’s free anyway!), but somehow my smartphone failed to open the link, I can’t remember why. And reading from Google Playbook app is more comfortable too. Thanks anyway for the links, I might also check the BBC drama too after reading.
Greetings for the New Year Chris! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to rest and enjoy participating in one of your short story assignments. This story is so much the classic Cather I have missed! Relationships, intrigue, and the unfolding of details in bits of prose that paint the environs so succinctly! Thank you for your continued recommendations of her work. I look forward to reading your analysis.
I had to decipher the phrase “grubbing at the chalk” in the second paragraph, especially after reading the entire story. I don’t know that it provided any particular insights but it was an interesting foreshadow. Am curious what you think about that.
Best to you,
[…] the Willa Cather Short Story Project is “The Affair at Grover Station.” As mentioned in the reminder post, the story was published in two parts in The Library, on June 16 and 23, 1900. The image above is […]