Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
My Antonia Paperback – August 20, 2008
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
It seems almost sacrilege to infringe upon a book as soulful and rich as Willa Cather's My Ántonia by offering comment. First published in 1918, and set in Nebraska in the late 19th century, this tale of the spirited daughter of a Bohemian immigrant family planning to farm on the untamed land ("not a country at all but the material out of which countries are made") comes to us through the romantic eyes of Jim Burden. He is, at the time of their meeting, newly orphaned and arriving at his grandparents' neighboring farm on the same night her family strikes out to make good in their new country. Jim chooses the opening words of his recollections deliberately: "I first heard of Ántonia on what seemed to be an interminable journey across the great midland plain of North America," and it seems almost certain that readers of Cather's masterpiece will just as easily pinpoint the first time they heard of Ántonia and her world. It seems equally certain that they, too, will remember that moment as one of great light in an otherwise unremarkable trip through the world.
Ántonia, who, even as a grown woman somewhat downtrodden by circumstance and hard work, "had not lost the fire of life," lies at the center of almost every human condition that Cather's novel effortlessly untangles. She represents immigrant struggles with a foreign land and tongue, the restraints on women of the time (with which Cather was very much concerned), the more general desires for love, family, and companionship, and the great capacity for forbearance that marked the earliest settlers on the frontier.
As if all this humanity weren't enough, Cather paints her descriptions of the vastness of nature--the high, red grass, the road that "ran about like a wild thing," the endless wind on the plains--with strokes so vivid as to make us feel in our bones that we've just come in from a walk on that very terrain ourselves. As the story progresses, Jim goes off to the University in Lincoln to study Latin (later moving on to Harvard and eventually staying put on the East Coast in another neat encompassing of a stage in America's development) and learns Virgil's phrase "Optima dies ... prima fugit" that Cather uses as the novel's epigraph. "The best days are the first to flee"--this could be said equally of childhood and the earliest hours of this country in which the open land, much like My Ántonia, was nothing short of a rhapsody in prairie sky blue. --Melanie Rehak --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up--In Jim Burden's accounting of his life with, and without, Antonia Shimerda, listeners are transported to the hardscrabble Nebraska prairie and the rural immigrant experience. When Jim first sees the Shimerda family, immigrants from Bohemia, disembarking from the same train that is taking him West to live with his grandparents, he has no idea the impact they will have on his life. Nostalgically, he remembers the good and bad times they had on their respective farms and creates his portrait of Antonia, an independent and tough survivor. The brief biography of author Willa Cather at the beginning of the CD explains how her life mirrors Antonia's life in many ways, helping listeners understand the context of the story. Patrick Lawlor's rich, fluid voice lends an air of sophistication to Burden, reinforcing the class structure inherent at the beginning of the 20th century. Lawlor's attempts to create voices for the characters often falls flat. Since the novel is Burden's reminiscence, it would have been better told in Burden's voice alone. Since My Antonia continues to be a staple in many English curriculums, this is a good audiobook for schools and public libraries to have available.--Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The story was delightful to read, especially for one who came to the Midwest as a twelve year old German girl, who had to learn a new language, new customs, and make new friends.
The story is told by the character Jim Burden, who moved from Virginia to live with his grandparents in a small farm community in Nebraska. During that time period, migrants were coming to the area to farm the land. At the beginning of the story we meet Antonia, who is the young daughter of a Bohemian family and throughout the story the reader watches Antonia grow up and experience hardships of a migrant girl.
Although the story is primarily about Antonia, there are other important characters and storylines. One of the major themes in the book is how the group of poor migrant girls in this community, working as farmhands, nannies and maids, grow up and where their paths lead each of them in life based on the choices they made in their late teens/early twenties. Antonia is a sweet, hardworking girl, loved by all, and her fate is not what others expected of her.
Yet, in the end, Antonia is where she wants to be. There is a part at the end that I found very beautiful, when the narrator describes Antonia's appearance as an older woman: "I know so many women who have kept all the things she had lost, but whose inner glow has faded. Whatever else was gone, Antonia had not lost the fire of her life. Her skin, so brown and hardened, had not that look of flabbiness, as if the sap beneath it had been secretly drawn away."
Willa Cather was known for her writing about frontier life and descriptive portraits of the Nebraska landscape. It is also very interesting to read this book, 100 years after it was written, to understand the history of some of the farming community in the Great Plains.
Most recent customer reviews
It is told by Jim Burden, who met Antonia when they were both children.Read more