Willa Cather

Cather, another Virginian, grew up on the Nebraska prairie among pioneering immigrants -- later immortalized in O Pioneers! (1913), My Antonia (1918), and her well-known story "Neighbour Rosicky" (1928). During her lifetime she became increasingly alienated from the materialism of modern life and wrote of alternative visions in the American Southwest and in the past. Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) evokes the idealism of two 16th-century priests establishing the Catholic Church in the New Mexican desert. Cather's works commemorate important aspects of the American experience outside the literary mainstream -- pioneering, the establishment of religion, and women's independent lives.