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My Ántonia, a novel by Willa Cather, tells the story of friendship between Ántonia Shimerdaa young woman who moves to the Midwestern prairie with her bohemian familyand Jim Burden, an orphaned child who moves from Virginia to the Midwest to be with his grandparents. The narrative is majorly told from the perspective of Burden, almost peripherally, as a memoir of his childhood in Nebraska. It is here where he meets Ántonia and her family, his new neighbors. Eager to learn, Jim teaches Ántonia English and they become fast friends.
When Ántonia’s father tragically commits suicide, Ántonia discontinues her lessons with Jim and begins to work on the farm where she and Jim share countless memorable experiences together. After being accepted into Lincoln University, Jim moves away. Meanwhile, Ántonia copes with being abandoned by her fiancée and bearing an illegitimate child. When Jim graduates he returns to Nebraska and visits her before he starts law school, promising her that he’d visit again very soon. Despite keeping in touch, it is not until twenty years after this meeting that they meet again. Although in very different places in their lives, they pick up where they left offthe bond they formed as children remaining completely intact.
A classic story by renowned American author Willa Cather, My Ántonia is a timeless tale of a lifelong friendship.
Willa Cather was an American author and pastoralist known for her vivid depictions of the American Midwest and its inhabitants. Her works include Alexander’s Bridge, O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and many more. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her novel One of Ours in 1923. After receiving great acclaim upon its publication in 1918, My Ántonia was considered an instant classic. Cather continued to write until later in her life despite suffering from an enflamed tendon in her hand. She died in New York City at age seventy-three.
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