Willa Sibert Cather

Born on December 7, 1873 in Back Creek Valley, Virgina

What type of literature was she known for writing?

Willa Cather writes novels over the frontier life on the Great Plains. It's what she devotes herself to. The moral of all over stories are to inform people about what life is really like and the knowledge she has learned along the way.

What type of literature was she known for writing?

Willa Cather started off by writing books about the life on the frontier. She informed people about what the life was really like on the Great Plains and shares the knowledge she gained in an entertaining way. Later in life, she slowly stopped writing about the life on the frontier and moved on the fiction stories that were occasionally still based on the Great Plains.

What are Willa Cather's best known and/or award winning pieces?

In 1923 Willa Cather's book 'One of Ours' was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. This book tells the story of a Nebraska native around the turn of the 20th century. The son of a successful farmer and an intensely pious mother is guaranteed a comfortable livelihood. Willa Cather is perhaps most famous for her book 'My Antonia' and 'O Pioneers!'. Since Cather wrote most of her things about the frontier and Great Plains, her books are popular by the people who live on the frontier or have ancestors that have. These people can relate to what Cather wrote and hear other views of people who also experienced it.

How have the author's previous occupations, family, or education influenced their writing?

Willa Cather never went across the Great Plains in a covered wagon. She spent most of her life growing up in New York City. In 1896 Willa Cather was hired to write for the Home Monthly which is women's magazine. A year later she became a telegraph editor and drama critic for the Pittsburgh Leader and she also contributed regularly to poetry and short fiction in the area. Willa Cather loved English and she took her love and taught English and Latin at a high school where she eventually came head of the English department. When she retired from the school, that is when she started writing her books that made her famous.

The works of Willa Cather

Alexander's Bridge (1912), O Pioneers! (1913- Prairie Trilogy), The Song of the Lark (1915- Prairie Trilogy), My Antonia (1918- Prairie Trilogy), One of Ours (1922), A Lost Lady (1923), The Professor's House (1925), My Mortal Enemy (1926). Death Comes for Archbishop (1927), Shadows on the Rock (1931), Lucy Gayheart (1935), Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940)
April Twilight (1903, poetry), The Troll Garden (1905, short story), Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920, short story), Obscure Destinies (1932, three stories), Not Under Forty (1936, essays), The Old Beauty and Others (1948, three stories), Willa Cather: On Writing ( 1949, essays), Five Stories (1956, published by the Estate of Willa Cather), The Selected Letters of Willa Cather (published 2013)

Fun facts!

1) While attending the University of Nebraska, Cather dressed as a man and called herself "William", her fictional brother

2) Despite her mother’s attempts to turn her into a “lady”, young Willa cut her hair and wore trousers, despite the norms at the time.

3) Willa Cather often lied about the year she was really born in