My Antonia, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


'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 motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be running.' 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 moving portrait of endurance and strength. Described on publication as 'one of the best [novels] that any American has ever done', My Antonia paradoxically took Cather out of the rank of provincial novelists as the same time that it celebrated the provinces, and mythologized a period of American history that had to be lost before its value could be understood.

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

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Life stories of a group of immigrants to the corn belt of America.

Review by

Bohemian immigrant's struggle with life on the Nebraska plains. Narrated by Antonia's friend, Jim.

Review by

This is a beautiful book. Wonderful story and wonderfully written. The sadness isn't depressing, and the characters' stories are presented patiently. There is a strong tone of appreciating the closeness of childhood memories and recognizing the swiftness of life as one ages. Cather uses the seasons beautifully in the story. This book brought me back to many memories of my own of "summers that lasted forever" and relationships that faded, but still make me feel warm. Extra special, personally, that I lived in Nebraska growing up as well.

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