First published in 1918, "My Antonia" is the final book of Willa Cather's "prairie trilogy" of novels, preceded by "O Pioneers!" and "The Song of the Lark." It is the classic story of the daughter of the immigrant Bohemian Shimerda family that sets out to farm the untamed prairie land of Nebraska in the late 19th century. The father of the family finds the demands of this new life unbearable. He did not want to leave his homeland where he had a home, a trade, and friends, but does so because his wife believes their children will have a better life in America. The burdens of this new life become too much for the father to bear and he commits suicide before the end of the first winter. Told to us from the perspective of the adoring Jim Burden, an orphan who comes to live at his grandparent's neighboring farm, "My Antonia" is an enduring American classic rich with both the spirit that brought so many immigrants to this land in search of a better life and of the tragic circumstances that affected so many pioneers. Will Cather viewed "My Antonia" as the best book that she had ever written and countless of her fans have concurred with her opinion ever since its original publication. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper.
Willa Sibert Cather (1873 - 1947) was an American writer who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Ántonia (1918). In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during World War I.
Cather grew up in Virginia and Nebraska, and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She lived and worked in Pittsburgh for ten years, supporting herself as a magazine editor and high school English teacher. At the age of 33 she moved to New York City, her primary home for the rest of her life, though she also traveled widely and spent considerable time at her summer residence on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick.