Willa Cather Review | 61.3 | Winter 2020

Article number: REVIEW 61.3
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The Willa Cather Review is a scholarly journal published several times of year by the Willa Cather Foundation.


In this Issue

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Those who appreciate variety should enjoy this issue of the Willa Cather Review. Our last three issues, all focused on My Ántonia, offered a rich array of creative, scholarly, and personal responses in celebration of the novel’s centennial. Now, we expand this range of responses to multiple Cather texts. Don’t expect the critical conversation about My Ántonia to cool down as the novel enters its second century; ample evidence that it continues to stimulate provocative work is apparent here in Donna Devlin’s stunning archival research, in John Swift’s rewarding analysis of a key metaphor in the novel and the ways it evolved from Cather’s earlier uses, and in Mary Ruth Ryder’s study of how My Ántonia fared against other novels by women writers of the time. Of course, Cather scholarship is not confined to My Ántonia, as illustrated by Richard Giannone’s belletristic close reading of Harry Gordon in Lucy Gayheart and John Swift’s analyses of The Song of the Lark and “The Diamond Mine.” We also present biographical approaches to Cather studies in Harriet Shapiro’s fascinating look at Cather’s use of the New York Society Library, which also reveals significant information about Edith Lewis. Twyla Hansen’s essay offers her award-winning poetry to tell stories that reveal intersections with her own family, the Charles Cather family, and Cather’s hired girls. In addition to the variety of Cather texts featured in this issue, and the range of critical approaches and genres, we are pleased to note that half of the authors whose work appears here grace the pages of the Willa Cather Review for the first time, and half of the authors have been decades-long contributors to Cather scholarship. —Steven B. Shively



  • Letters from the Executive Director and the President
  • Harry Gordon’s Story: A Conversion of Heart by Richard Giannone
  • A Silver Mine, a Diamond Mine, and a “Rich Mine of Life”: Encountering the Modern, 1915–18 by John Swift
  • A Pioneering Tale of a Different Sort: Annie Sadilek Pavelka and Sexual Assault by Donna Devlin
  • The Writer and Her Editor: The New York Society Library Membership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis by Harriet Shapiro
  • A Singular Life: Ántonia Among Her Contemporary Literary Sisters by Mary Ruth Ryder
  • Kitty Hansen’s Story and the Cather Family by Twyla M. Hansen
  • New Titles for the Cather Bookshelf
  • In Memoriam
  • Contributors to this Issue 

On the cover: A 1937 “charging card” from the New York Society Library Institutional Archive showing volumes checked out by Willa Cather and Edith Lewis. See story on page 20.

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