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O Revelations! Letters, Once Banned, Flesh Out Willa Cather →

[N]ext month, nearly seven decades after Cather’s death in 1947, the doors of her interior life will be thrown open with the publication of “The Selected Letters of Willa Cather,” an anthology of 566 of the roughly 3,000 letters that turned out to have survived, scattered in some 75 archives.

For scholars it’s a major literary event, a chance at last to flesh out the understanding of a writer often seen as a remote bluestocking in big skirts and old-fashioned hats. Cather, the letters reveal, was a powerfully engaged literary businesswoman who corresponded with H. L. Mencken, F. Scott Fitzgerald and other notables of the day — and once playfully took those skirts off, as a charming youthful letter recounts, to clamber down a windmill in a thunderstorm.

The letters do not yield steamy intimate detail. But they do make clear that Cather’s primary emotional attachments were to women, while also laying to rest what the volume’s editors, in interviews, called a persistent urban legend: that of the fanatically secretive author eager to erase any record of shameful desire.

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  1. miscellaneoustrivia reblogged this from thelifeguardlibrarian
  2. austinda reblogged this from thelifeguardlibrarian and added:
    I freakin’ love Willa Cather.
  3. literarumfructuscornsyrup reblogged this from libraryjournal
  4. notbrianna reblogged this from thelifeguardlibrarian
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  6. libraryjournal reblogged this from thelifeguardlibrarian and added:
    So much love for Willa Cather, whose writing about the Midwest terrified me almost as much as the Midwest itself. (And...
  7. fotzepolitic said: Wow, what a coup. Excellent news.
  8. thelifeguardlibrarian posted this