Annotations for My √Āntonia


Baker & Taylor
New York lawyer Jim Burden reminiscences about his boyhood in Nebraska, particularly memories of a young Bohemian girl named Antonia Shimerda, and ponders the assimilation of immigrants into American life.

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Blackwell North Amer
Willa Cather's My Antonia 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 Antonia 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.

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Random House, Inc.

'The best thing I've done is My Antonia,' recalled Willa Cather. 'I feel I've made a contribution to American letters with that book.' Set against the vast Nebraska prairie, Cather's elegiac novel features one of the most winning heroines in American fiction--Antonia Shimerda--a young woman whose strength and passion epitomize the triumphant vitality of this country's pioneers.

'If, as is often said, every novelist is born to write one thing, then the one thing that Willa Cather was born to write was first fully realized in My Antonia,' observed Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner. 'The prose is. . .flexible, evocative; the structure at once free and intricately articulated; the characters stretch into symbolic suggestiveness as naturally as trees cast shadows in the long light of a prairie evening; the theme is the fully exposed, complexly understood theme of the American orphan or exile, struggling to find a place between an Old World left behind and a New World not yet created. . . . No writer ever posed that essential aspect of the American experience more warmly, with more nostalgic lyricism, or with a surer understanding of what it means.'

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Random House, Inc.
In this powerful and astonishing novel, Willa Cather created one of the most winning yet thoroughly convincing heroines in American fiction. Antonia Shimerda, the daughter of Bohemian immigrants, not only survives her father's suicide, poverty, and a failed romance, she triumphs with high spirits.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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