Willa Cather’s My Ántonia is considered one of the most significant American novels of the twentieth century. Set during the great migration west to settle the plains of the North American continent, the narrative follows Ántonia Shimerda, a pioneer who comes to Nebraska as a child and grows with the country, inspiring a childhood friend, Jim Burden, to write her life story. The novel is important both for its literary aesthetic and as a portrayal of important aspects of American social ideals and history, particularly the centrality of migration to American culture.
The Broadview edition includes a rich selection of primary source materials: the revised introduction for the 1926 edition; Cather’s “Mesa Verde Wonderland is Easy to Reach…,” “Nebraska: The End of the First Cycle,” “Peter”, and her comments on the novel; contemporary reviews and photographs.
“Cather’s great novel is accompanied here by Joseph Urgo’s intellectually insightful and audacious introduction and by the best available collection of historical materials relevant to the work. This splendid edition will appeal both to those who are beginning and to those who are continuing their explorations of this masterpiece.” — Merrill Skaggs, Drew University
“This edition is distinguished by its broad editorial attention to history: to the pioneering era that Cather’s novel describes and to the pre-World War I U.S. in which it was written. Most interestingly, the primary documents convincingly connect My Ántonia not only to Cather’s developing aesthetic theory but also to broad American cultural concerns of immigration, conservation, and national self-definition. This edition allows readers to see the novel as a complexly articulated response to the great issues and energies of America as it entered the modern age.” — John Swift, Occidental College, Los Angeles