First published in 1913, "O Pioneers!" is the first novel in Willa Cather's "Great Plains" trilogy. Followed by "The Song of the Lark" in 1915 and "My Ántonia" in 1918, "O Pioneers!" introduces us to the Bergsons, a family of Swedish-American immigrants who live in the fictional farm town of Hanover, Nebraska at the beginning of the 20th century. The story centers on the life of Alexandra Bergson, who inherits the family farm with her mother and three brothers when her father dies. Many years of crop failures force the Bergson's neighbors to give up and sell their farms, something that Alexandra's brothers Oscar and Lou wish to do but which Alexandra and her mother are unwilling to do. Instead Alexandra convinces the family to mortgage their homestead in order to buy up the surrounding acreage. Amidst the backdrop of managing the farm there develops two romantic relationships in the novel, one between Alexandra and her childhood friend Carl Linstrum, who returns after many years away, and another between Alexandra's youngest brother, Emil, and the unhappily married Marie Shabata. "O Pioneers!" is a classic portrayal of the struggles of immigrants in the great plains of America, a story of success in the face of hardship, and the growth of a young woman along the way. 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.