My Ántonia
  • Publication Date: March 12, 2003
  • ISBN: 9781551114910 / 1551114917
  • 322 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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My Ántonia

  • Publication Date: March 12, 2003
  • ISBN: 9781551114910 / 1551114917
  • 322 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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.

Comments

“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

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Willa Cather: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

My Ántonia

Appendix A: Cather’s Revised Introduction to the 1926 Edition of My Ántonia

Appendix B: Cather’s “Mesa Verde Wonderland is Easy to Reach”

Appendix C: Cather’s “Nebraska:The End of the First Cycle”

Appendix D: Cather’s “Peter”

Appendix E: Interviews and Commentary by Cather on My Ántonia

  1. Latrobe Carroll, “Willa Sibert Cather,” Bookman, 3 May 1921
  2. “A Talk with Miss Cather,” Webster County Argus, 29 September 1921
  3. Eleanor Hinman, “Willa Cather,” Lincoln Sunday Star, 6 November 1921
  4. Rose C. Field, “Restlessness Such as Ours Does Not Make for Beauty,” New York Times Book Review, 21 December 1924

Appendix F: Contemporary Reviews of the Novel

  1. Randolph Bourne, The Dial, 14 December 1918
  2. H.W. Boynton, Bookman, December 1918
  3. C.L.H., New York Call, 13 November 1918
  4. A.L.A. Booklist, 1918
  5. Book Review Digest, 1918
  6. Independent, 25 January 1919
  7. New York Times, 6 October 1918
  8. Nation, 2 November 1918
  9. The Globe and Commercial Advertiser, 11 January 1919
  10. H.L. Mencken, The Smart Set, 17 February 1919

Appendix G: Photographs of Nebraska

  1. Primitive Dugout
  2. Sod House
  3. Threshing Scene
  4. The Pavelka Farm
  5. Anna Sadilek
  6. Blind Boone
  7. The University of Nebraska

Appendix H: Immigration to and Migration Across America

  1. Nebraska Land Company, Czech Language Immigration Poster
  2. Welcome to the Land of Freedom
  3. Emigrants Coming to the “Land of Promise”
  4. Crossing the Great American Desert in Nebraska

Appendix I: Music from My Ántonia

  1. “Oh, Promise Me”
  2. “O Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie”

Select Bibliography

Joseph R. Urgo is a Professor in the English Department at The University of Mississippi, Oxford. He is the author of Willa Cather and the Myth of American Migration (Illinois UP 1995), In the Age of Distraction (Mississippi UP 2000), and other critical studies in American literature and culture.