This volume situates My Antonia as a novel that stands the test of time by including in its pages an extraordinarily wide range of historical, cultural, literary, psychological, thematic, perceptual, and stylistic issues.
The volume provides an analysis and assessment of complexities in the novel as well as its reception and legacy.
The essays as a whole situate the novel at the cusp of the modern period, marking in myriad ways the novel's transitional role between nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and culture.
The first section "Translation" features writers that reflect on Cather's curious devaluation of My Antonia's reception over time; translation issues in Germany, Italty, France, and Russia; and linguistic issues in the novel's vision of Antonia's acculturation.
The second section "Tradition" defines Cather's relationship to modernism and regionalism through her career shifts and changes to the Introduction as well as her narrative technique in marginalizing violence and darkness to the edges of Jim's consicousness.
The third section "Transgender" analyzes Cather's relationship to Hamlin Garland's Life on the Prairie, J.
M. Barrie's Peter Pan and the Neverland, and the work of Truman Capote, especially his gay protagoanist Joel Knox in Other Voices, Other Rooms.
The fourth section "Transhuman" deploys work on hysteria to situate Cather's vision of genderless desire and ecocritical lenses to understand Jim and nature.
Finally the last section "Transition" discusses Lena Lingard's presence as a New Woman and gift economies in the novel that underscore the community's uneasy transition to twentieth-century capitalism.
Gathered in the volume are an international group of scholars who demonstrate the novel's centrality to women's studies, American studies, queer studies, childhood studies, psychoanalysis, ecology, translation and reception, Marxism, narratology, and intertextuality.