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The Professor's House
by Willa Cather
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From Library Journal
Cather's 1922 novel gets the red-carpet treatment here from scholars James Woodress, Karl Ronning, and Frederick M. Link, who offer textual analysis based on a recently discovered reworked draft, plus explanatory notes and historical material. A beauty, but the price is prohibitive. Too bad.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
1925. Willa Cather is one of the most interesting women writers in American literary history. Both a teacher, a journalist and a critic as well as a writer, Cather plays an important part in the shaping of American modernist thought and writings. Her fiction is unique in its powerful representation of setting and character and rich in its language and imagery. In The Professor's House, the story's protagonist is Godfrey St. Peter, a man who grew up on the prairie, entered academia and in his fifties has attained professional success and what at first seems to be domestic happiness. But over the year in which the novel's events transpire-the year that follows his family's move to a new house and ends with his near-death in the old one he has refused to abandon-it becomes clear that St. Peter's success is hollow, his relations with his wife and children passionless and embittered. What meaning remains in the professor's life lies in the past, in his relationship with a gifted pupil who died young and whose discoveries have made St. Peter's family wealthy-but at an awful cost.
The moving was over and done. Professor St. Peter was alone in the dismantled house where he had lived ever since his marriage, where he had worked out his career and brought up his two daughters. It was almost as ugly as it is possible for a house to be; square, three stories in height, painted the colour of ashes -- the front porch just too narrow for comfort, with a slanting floor and sagging steps.
Inside Flap Copy
A study in emotional dislocation and renewal--Professor Godfrey St. Peter, a man in his 50's, has achieved what would seem to be remarkable success. When called on to move to a more comfortable home, something in him rebels.
About the Author
Willa Siebert Cather was born in 1873 in the home of her maternal grandmother in western Virginia. Although she had been named Willela, her family always called her "Willa." Upon graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1895, Cather moved to Pittsburgh where she worked as a journalist and teacher while beginning her writing career. In 1906, Cather moved to New York to become a leading magazine editor at McClure's Magazine before turning to writing full-time. She continued her education, receiving her doctorate of letters from the University of Nebraska in 1917, and honorary degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of California, Columbia, Yale, and Princeton. Cather wrote poetry, short stories, essays, and novels, winning awards including the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours, about a Nebraska farm boy during World War I. She also wrote The Professor's House, My Antonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop, and Lucy Gayheart. Some of Cather's novels were made into movies, the most well-known being A Lost Lady, starring Barbara Stanwyck. In 1961, Willa Cather was the first woman ever voted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners in Oklahoma in 1974, and the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca, New York in 1988. Cather died on April 24, 1947, of a cerebral hemorrhage, in her Madison Avenue, New York home, where she had lived for many years.
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