The Big Read Blog (Archive)

There Were No Fences In Those Days

March 2, 2011
Washington, DC

Image of Willa Cather courtesy of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Archives & Special Collections.

This month on The Big Read blog, we'll be looking at the role region and landscape play in select novels and poems.

Willa Cather was born in 1873 in Virginia?s Shenandoah Valley. When Cather moved from Virginia to Nebraska as a young girl, the wide expanses of the Great Plains had a profound effect on her. Her Big Read selection, My Ántonia, is set in Nebraska in the late 19th century, a period in which pioneers were arriving in great numbers to settle and cultivate the land. In the novel, the land itself becomes an undeniable presence as Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen, former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, and writer James McBride all attest to. The excerpt is read by the legendary Garrison Keillor. Music by Lee Blaske.



To hear the entire half-hour Big Read audio guide, please visit The Big Read website.


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