Willa Cather biography

Willa Cather

Novelist, Author

1873 – 1947


Who was Willa Cather?

Willa Sibert Cather was an American author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, in works such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, a novel set during World War I. Cather grew up in Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska. She lived and worked in Pittsburgh for ten years, then at the age of 33 she moved to New York, where she lived for the rest of her life.

Famous Quotes:

  • Art, it seems to me, should simplify finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole -- so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader's consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.
  • Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact.
  • No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.
  • The irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand.
  • Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
  • The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
  • Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
  • Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.
  • Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.
  • Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family --but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.


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"Willa Cather." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 21 Oct. 2020. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/willa_cather>.

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Dec 7, 1873
Also known as
  • Willa Seibert Cather
  • Baptists
  • Episcopal Church
  • United States of America
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lived in
  • Winchester
  • New York
  • Nebraska
  • Red Cloud
Apr 24, 1947
New York City
Resting place

on July 23, 2013

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