Annotations for My Antonia
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.
by Willa Cather
, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics
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"No romantic novel ever written in America . . . is one half so beautiful as My Ántonia." --H. L. Mencken
Widely recognized as Willa Cather
's greatest novel, My Ántonia
is a soulful and rich portrait of a pioneer woman's simple yet heroic life. The spirited daughter of Bohemian immigrants, Ántonia must adapt to a hard existence on the desolate prairies of the Midwest. Enduring childhood poverty, teenage seduction, and family tragedy, she eventually becomes a wife and mother on a Nebraska farm. A fictional record of how women helped forge the communities that formed a nation, My Ántonia
is also a hauntingly eloquent celebration of the strength, courage, and spirit of America's early pioneers.Gordon Tapper
is Assistant Professor of English at DePauw University. He is the author of The Machine That Sings: Modernism, Hart Crane, and the Culture of the Body
, from Routledge.