O Pioneers!

O Pioneers!

Book - 1989
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One of America's greatest women writers, Willa Cather established her talent and her reputation with this extraordinary novel--the first of her books set on the Nebraska frontier. A tale of the prairie land encountered by America's Swedish, Czech, Bohemian, and French immigrants, as well as a story of how the land challenged them, changed them, and, in some cases, defeated them, Cather's novel is a uniquely American epic.

Alexandra Bergson, a young Swedish immigrant girl who inherits her father's farm and must transform it from raw prairie into a prosperous enterprise, is the first of Cather's great heroines--all of them women of strong will and an even stronger desire to overcome adversity and succeed. But the wild land itself is an equally important character in Cather's books, and her descriptions of it are so evocative, lush, and moving that they provoked writer Rebecca West to say of her: "The most sensuous of writers, Willa Cather builds her imagined world almost as solidly as our five senses build the universe around us."

Willa Cather, perhaps more than any other American writer, was able to re-create the real drama of the pioneers, capturing for later generations a time, a place, and a spirit that has become part of our national heritage.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1989
ISBN: 9780553213584
055321358X
Branch Call Number: FIC/CAT

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

O Pioneers is poetic and intelligent without losing focus on the story. That said, this story was a tad dry at times. I loved the language, and I liked the characters (though they were slightly formulaic), but I'd like to have seen a little more movement, a little more ambition.

JCLJoyceM Jun 19, 2015

This was the first Willa Cather book I ever read and was so charmed by her descriptions of the climate, the people, the perils they faced. We read it aloud as a family and all enjoyed it, even my teen daughter, who tried to read it previously. I told her she had to give it a second try.

1
1aa
Jun 16, 2015

Written in a quiet tone which is kept steady throughout the book, the story itself is written as of there are two chapters missing after every chapter, giving the impression of a series of brief narrative glances over the course of about forty years.

r
rwhite29
Jan 13, 2015

This is my favorite book of all time.

l
LDPBLM
Jun 02, 2012

Oh , I was certain that "My Antonia" was Cather's best - probably so - but this truly was good . The white mulberry tree chapter was an excellent example of Cather's best writing .

hermlou May 18, 2011

Cather published this book in 1913, so it is a true picture of Nebraska at that time. Pioneers had a lot of trials from injury, disease, and crop failure, and Cather tells it all honestly. Alexandra is the oldest of her family and has an ability to manage the farm, which her brothers contribute to with manual labor. I enjoyed Cather's lyric descriptions of the land and her references to baseball and law school in Ann Arbor. Most of all I liked the fact that this was not written in 2011 about 1913, with possible anachronisms.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 03, 2009

Alexandra Bergson's devotion to the land turns an empty prairie into a prosperous farm.

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