Cather, the Canon, and the Classics Book Club

As many of you know by now, I enjoy worrying about what, if anything, makes the things we read in the Classics Book Club classics. This nice essay by Sharon O’Brien follows the twists and turns of Willa Cather’s literary reputation. It shows how My Ántonia seemed to cement Cather’s status as a big American voice, only to be demoted to a minor American woman writer during the 1930’s and ’40’s, and then promoted again, this time in the academy, by feminists scholars, and by Classics Book Club members, too, to her current rank of important American woman writer. Take a look: Becoming Noncanonical: The Case Against Willa Cather.


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