The Song of the Lark (Signet Classics)

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9780451530486: The Song of the Lark (Signet Classics)

100th Anniversary Edition

“Miss Cather, indeed, here steps definitely into the small class of American novelists who are seriously to be reckoned with.”—H. L. Mencken
 
“To reread Cather is to rediscover an arresting chapter in the national past.”—Los Angeles Times

Feisty Thea Kronborg, with her rapturous singing voice, is headed for great things. But her upbringing in a raw, provincial Colorado town has practically stifled her artistic ambitions. Only a few people in Moonstone recognize Thea’s world-class talent. One of them is Ray Kennedy, who, entranced by Thea’s voice, hopes to marry her, but is destined to unchain her. Sustained by determination and a pioneer’s spirit, and inspired by the Native American culture that surrounded her in youth, Thea makes her way in the world. But with loneliness as her constant companion, she comes to realize what sacrifices a true artist must make....

With an Introduction by Melissa Homestead

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From the Inside Flap:

"The time will come when she will be ranked above Hemingway." --Leon Edel

In this powerful portrait of the self-making of an artist, Willa Cather created one of her most extraordinary heroines. Thea Kronborg, a minister's daughter in a provincial Colorado town, seems destined from childhood for a place in the wider world. But as her path to the world stage leads her ever farther from the humble town she can't forget and from the man she can't afford to love, Thea learns that her exceptional musical talent and fierce ambition are not enough.
It is in the solitude of a tiny rock chamber high in the side of an Arizona cliff--"a cleft in the heart of the world"--that Thea comes face to face with her own dreams and desires, stripped clean by the haunting purity of the ruined cliff dwellings and inspired by the whisperings of their ancient dust. Here she finds the courage to seize her future and to use her gifts to catch "the shining, elusive element that is life itself--life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose." In prose as shimmering and piercingly true as the light in a desert canyon, Cather takes us into the heart of a woman coming to know her deepest self.

About the Author:

Born in Virginia, Willa Cather (1873–1948) moved with her family to Nebraska before she was ten. She graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1895, then taught high school and worked for the Pittsburgh Leader before being appointed associate editor of McClure’s Magazine. Cather published her first novel, Alexander’s Bridge, in 1912. In O Pioneers! (1913), she turned to her greatest subject, immigrant life on the Nebraska prairies, and established herself as a major American novelist. O Pioneers! was followed by other novels, including My Ántonia (1918), The Professor’s House (1922), and Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927).

Melissa Homestead is the Susan J. Rosowski Professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is the author of American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822–1869, and with Guy Reynolds is coeditor of Willa Cather and Modern Cultures.

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