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Author Information: Willa Cather

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Willa Sibert Cather was born on the family farm in Black Creek Valley, Virginia, on December 7, 1873. When she was nine, her parents, Charles Fectigue and Mary Virginia Boak Cather moved the family to Nebraska, settling at Red Cloud, where her father opened a loan and insurance office. Homeschooled by her mother and grandmother, Willa later attended Red Cloud High School and studied at the University of Nebraska from 1890 to 1895.

Cather eventually moved to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where she worked as an editor for the Home Monthly and the Daily Leader from 1898 to 1901, when she left to teach high-school English. In 1903 she published a book of verse, April Twilights, and in 1905 a collection of short stories, The Troll Garden. She worked as managing editor at McClure’s Magazine, in New York City, from 1906 to 1912. In 1912 she resigned from McClure’s to devote herself to writing.

Often drawing from the stories told to her in Nebraska by elderly immigrant women about their lives in Sweden and Bohemia, Cather found an enthusiastic reading audience for her novels.

Cather died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 24, 1947 in New York City.




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