Willa Cather Biography | Author of Death Comes for the Archbishop

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Wilella ("Willa") Cather was born December 7, 1873, in Back Creek Valley, Virginia, the eldest of seven children. She spent much of her early childhood on her grandfather's sheep farm, where her energy and imagination found outlets in her rural surroundings. Her grandmother took an active role in her education, teaching her to read and appreciate language. Cather's fascination with stories drew her to gatherings of local men and women, who kept alive a rich oral tradition.

In 1883, the sheep farm burned down, and Cather's family moved to Nebraska. Surrounded by the vast landscape, Cather first reacted with fear and discomfort. According to many biographers, this move proved to be a defining experience in Cather's life. After a year of homesteading, Cather's father moved the family to the small town of Red Cloud and opened a loan and mortgage business.

As a teenager Cather rejected traditional femininity. She cut her...

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This section contains 508 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Death Comes for the Archbishop Study Guide
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Death Comes for the Archbishop from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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