Willa Cather
Willa Seibert Cather was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier
A frontier is a political and geographical term referring to areas near or beyond a boundary. 'Frontier' was absorbed into English from French in the 15th century, with the meaning "borderland"--the region of a country that fronts on another country .The use of "frontier" to mean "a region at the...

 life on the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

, in works such as O Pioneers!
O Pioneers!
O Pioneers! is a 1913 novel by American author Willa Cather. It was written in part when Cather was living in Cherry Valley, New York, with Isabelle McClung and was completed at the McClungs' home in Pittsburgh...

, My Ántonia
My Ántonia
My Ántonia |accent]] on the first syllable of "Ántonia"), first published 1918, is considered one of the greatest novels by American writer Willa Cather...

, and The Song of the Lark
The Song of the Lark
The Song of the Lark is the third novel by American author Willa Cather, written in 1915. The title comes from a painting of the same name by Jules Adolphe Aimé Louis Breton.-Plot introduction:...

. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 for One of Ours
One of Ours
One of Ours is a novel by Willa Cather that won the 1923 Pulitzer Prize. It tells the story of the life of Claude Wheeler, a Nebraska native around the turn of the 20th century. The son of a successful Midwestern farmer and an intensely pious mother, he is guaranteed a comfortable livelihood...

(1922), a novel set during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Cather grew up in Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 and graduated from the University of Nebraska. She lived and worked in Pittsburgh for ten years, then at age 33 she moved to New York where she lived for the rest of her life.
She was born Wilella Seibert Cather in 1873 on her maternal grandmother's farm in the Back Creek Valley
Back Creek (Potomac River)
Back Creek is a tributary of the Potomac River that flows north from Frederick County, Virginia, to Berkeley County in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. Back Creek originates along Frederick County's border with Hampshire County, West Virginia, at Farmer's Gap in the Great North Mountain. Its...

 near Winchester, Virginia
Winchester, Virginia
Winchester is an independent city located in the northwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the USA. The city's population was 26,203 according to the 2010 Census...

 (see Willa Cather Birthplace
Willa Cather Birthplace
The Willa Cather Birthplace, also known as the Rachel E. Boak House, is the site near Gore, Virginia where the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather was born in 1873....


No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person. Two people, when they love each other, grow alike in their tastes and habits and pride, but their moral natures (whatever we may mean by that canting expression) are never welded. The base one goes on being base, and the noble one noble, to the end.

Alexander's Bridge|Alexander's Bridge (1912) Ch. 8

It does not matter much whom we live with in this world, but it matters a great deal whom we dream of.

Youth and the Bright Medusa, "A Gold Slipper" (1920)

The world there was the flat world of the ancients; to the east, a cornfield that stretched to daybreak; to the west, a corral that reached to the sunset; between, the conquests of peace, dearer-bought than those of war.

Youth and the Bright Medusa, "A Wagner Matinee" (1920)

The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.

One of Ours|One of Ours, Bk. II, Ch. 6 (1922)

The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.

One of Ours, Bk. II, Ch. 6 (1922)

Beautiful women, whose beauty meant more than it said... was their brilliancy always fed by something coarse and concealed? Was that their secret?

A Lost Lady|A Lost Lady, Part I, Ch. 7 (1923)

Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family — but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.

Shadows on the Rock, Book III, Ch. 5 (1931)

Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.

Shadows on the Rock, Epilogue

The great fact was the land itself, which seemed to overwhelm the little beginnings of human society that struggled in its sombre wastes. It was from facing this vast hardness that the boy's mouth had become so bitter; because he felt that men were too weak to make any mark here, that the land wanted to be let alone, to preserve its own fierce strength, its peculiar, savage kind of beauty, its uninterrupted mournfulness.

Part I, Ch. 1