December 27, 2010 Leave a comment
I’ve loved Willa Cather since the first few pages of O Pioneers. I accidentally started reading My Ántonia (1918) this weekend. I was looking at a friend’s ebook library and just “picked it up,” so to speak. Can’t put it down.
Here’s a chapter that I think stands on its own as a short story. The chapter takes place in the prairies of Nebraska in the late 1880s. The narrator, Jim, is ten years old when the story takes place.
Much as I liked Ántonia, I hated a superior tone that she sometimes took with me. She was four years older than I, to be sure, and had seen more of the world; but I was a boy and she was a girl, and I resented her protecting manner. Before the autumn was over she began to treat me more like an equal and to defer to me in other things than reading lessons. This change came about from an adventure we had together.