Pulitzer Prize Winning Fiction Project discussion

"One of Ours" by Willa Cather

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message 1: by John (new)

John (jsheiry) | 7 comments This is an exceptionally well written book. Cather is a master at character description and development and in "One of Ours" she is at the peak of her skills. This book is about a Kansas farm boy who ends up in WWI. Don't think that this is a "war" book because, for the most part, the story is about Claude Wheeler, his family, his friends, and the people he meets during his life journey. Cather's insight into the mind, heart, and soul of her many characters is extraordinary. Additionally, the reader is treated to wonderful period descriptions of the sights, smells, and feelings of the settings in which she places her characters. This is a must read for lover's of fiction and it's easy to see why this book was chosen to be honored with the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

message 2: by Denise (new)

Denise | 32 comments Thanks for the review, John. I haven't read this one yet. It seems the book I most hear of by her is My Antonia. When I looked through the list I wondered why I hadn't heard of this one. I look forward to reading it at some point.

message 3: by John (new)

John (jsheiry) | 7 comments Quoted from an article written by Kathleen Norris:

"Cather had the great good fortune to have lived among the first generation of white settlers in 1880s Nebraska, and she gives witness to their time and place in such a way that American literature will never forget them. MY ANTONIA, following O PIONEERS! (1913) and THE SONG OF THE LARK (1915), completes the trilogy of Cather’s best-known Nebraska novels. Critic H. L. Mencken thought MY ANTONIA to be the most accomplished and, reviewing it in 1919, shortly after it was published, he wrote, “Her style has lost self-consciousness; her feeling for form has become instinctive. And she has got such a grip upon her materials. … I know of no novel that makes the remote folk of the Western prairies more real … and I know of none that makes them seem better worth knowing.”"

message 4: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (specialteacher) | 5 comments John. One of Ours is next in my PP queue. I've had the book on my shelf for years and am looking forward to finally getting around to reading it. Just finished The Good Earth which was excellent.

message 5: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 1 comments I'm about 2/3rd's of the way through, and am really enjoying the writing. Your right John, not really a war book. In fact I've read somewhere she was criticized by some of her contemporaries for not having a real enough depiction. They completely missed the point. I'd say it's more of a self-discovery novel, in the vein of Somerset Maugham. A little dated in it's portrayal of black people, but not intentionally racist. Having said that, the woman I identify as black is never described as such, so...

message 6: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Hesseltine This is the first Cather book I have read, even though one of my high school English teachers tried to get us to read something (anything) by Cather because she was that teachers' favorite author. It was a good one, although I've heard that it's not her best work. It covered so many different periods of the main character's life, that it felt like more than one story. I enjoyed seeing the main character find his purpose and grow into the kind of man he was intended to be.

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