9780199538140

My Ántonia (Oxford World's Classics)

Cather, Willa

ISBN 10: 019953814X / 0-19-953814-X
ISBN 13: 9780199538140
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
My Antonia is a classic tale of pioneer life in the American Midwest. The novel details daily life in the newly settled plains of Nebraska through the eyes of Jim Burden, who recounts memories of a childhood shared with a girl named Antonia Shimerda, the daughter of a family who have emigrated from Bohemia. As adults, Jim leaves the prairie for college and a career in the east, while Antonia devotes herself to her large family and productive farm. When he returns Jim sees that although Antonia is careworn, she remains "a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races,". Full of stirring descriptions of the prairie's beautiful yet terrifying landscape, and the rich ethnic mix of immigrants and native-born Americans who chose to restart their lives there, My Antonia mythologized a period of American history that was lost before its value could be understood.
This new edition provides a critically up-to-date introduction and detail notes which put the events and themes of the book in full historical context. Also included are Cather's original and revised introductions to her novel.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Review:
It seems almost sacrilege to infringe upon a book as soulful and rich as Willa Cather's My Ántonia by offering comment. First published in 1918, and set in Nebraska in the late 19th century, this tale of the spirited daughter of a Bohemian immigrant family planning to farm on the untamed land ("not a country at all but the material out of which countries are made") comes to us through the romantic eyes of Jim Burden. He is, at the time of their meeting, newly orphaned and arriving at his grandparents' neighboring farm on the same night her family strikes out to make good in their new country. Jim chooses the opening words of his recollections deliberately: "I first heard of Ántonia on what seemed to be an interminable journey across the great midland plain of North America," and it seems almost certain that readers of Cather's masterpiece will just as easily pinpoint the first time they heard of Ántonia and her world. It seems equally certain that they, too, will remember that moment as one of great light in an otherwise unremarkable trip through the world.

Ántonia, who, even as a grown woman somewhat downtrodden by circumstance and hard work, "had not lost the fire of life," lies at the center of almost every human condition that Cather's novel effortlessly untangles. She represents immigrant struggles with a foreign land and tongue, the restraints on women of the time (with which Cather was very much concerned), the more general desires for love, family, and companionship, and the great capacity for forbearance that marked the earliest settlers on the frontier.

As if all this humanity weren't enough, Cather paints her descriptions of the vastness of nature--the high, red grass, the road that "ran about like a wild thing," the endless wind on the plains--with strokes so vivid as to make us feel in our bones that we've just come in from a walk on that very terrain ourselves. As the story progresses, Jim goes off to the University in Lincoln to study Latin (later moving on to Harvard and eventually staying put on the East Coast in another neat encompassing of a stage in America's development) and learns Virgil's phrase "Optima dies ... prima fugit" that Cather uses as the novel's epigraph. "The best days are the first to flee"--this could be said equally of childhood and the earliest hours of this country in which the open land, much like My Ántonia, was nothing short of a rhapsody in prairie sky blue. --Melanie Rehak

Review

Review:
"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."

An unconventional novel of prairie life, My Antonia tells the story of a remarkable woman whose strength and passion epitomize the pioneer spirit. Antonia Shimerda returns to Black Hawk, Nebraska, to made a fresh start after eloping with a railway conductor following the tragic death of her father. Accustomed to living in a sod house and toiling alongside the men in the fields, she is unprepared for the lecherous reaction her lush sensuality provokes when she moves to the city. Despite betrayal and crushing opposition, Antonia steadfastly pursues her quest for happiness--a moving struggle that mirrors the quiet drama of the American landscape.

"No romantic novel ever written in America, by man or woman, is one half so beautiful as My Antonia."--H.L. Mencken

From the Publisher

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: Oxford University Press OUP. Book Condition: New. pp. 272 My Antonia (1918) depicts the pioneering period of European settlement on the tall-grass prairie of the American midwest, with its beautiful yet terrifying landscape, rich ethnic mix of immigrants and native-born Americans, and communities who share life's joys and sorrows. Jim Burden recounts his memories of Antonia Shimerda, whose family settle in Nebraska from Bohemia. Together they share childhoods spent in a new world. Jim leaves the prairie for college and a career in the east, while Antonia devotes herself to her large family and productive farm. Her story is that of the land itself, a. Bookseller Inventory # 06678767

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Book Description: 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 127mm x 13mm x 193mm. Paperback. 'As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea. The red of the grass made all the great prairie the colour of wine-stains.And there was so much mot.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 228 pages. 0.204. Bookseller Inventory # 9780199538140

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Book Description: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008. Book Condition: New. Language: english. My Antonia took Cather out of the rank of provincial novelists while at the same time celebrating the provinces. It depicts the pioneering period of European settlement in the American prairie, through the stories of Jim Burden and Antonia Shimerda, who is the embodiment of the pioneer spirit. Bookseller Inventory # 7751768

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Book Description: Oxford University Press, 2008. paperback. Book Condition: New. *** NEW COPY *** TITLE SHIPPED FROM UK *** Binding paperback My Antonia took Cather out of the rank of provincial novelists while at the same time celebrating the provinces. It depicts the pioneering period of European settlement in the American prairie, through the stories of Jim Burden and Antonia. Bookseller Inventory # 019953814X

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