Death Comes For the Archbishop


By Willa Cather

cover image of Death Comes For the Archbishop

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Willa Sibert Cather was born on 7th December, 1873 and although born in Virginia grew up and was educated in Nebraska, the eldest of seven children. Although she moved to Pittsburgh for a job on a woman's journal and later to New York City for an editorial post, her successful novels were about frontier life and informed by her experience in Nebraska. The western state's harsh weather and dramatic landscape coupled with the multi-cultural immigrant communities and Native American families forging their lives amid such hardships provided a hugely rich seam that she skilfully and movingly expressed in her work. She was critically acclaimed for these books and awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1922. Willa was a very private person and whilst she often dressed as a man, nicknamed herself as William and had significant relationships with women, most notably with the editor Edith Lewis who she lived the last 39 years of her life, her sexual identity is not really clear. Willa Cather died 24th April, 1947 having received the Gold Award for Fiction, a prestigious prize awarded once a decade by the National Institute of Arts and Letters for an author's body of work. She was aged 73 and buried on a hillside in New Hampshire where her tombstone reads: The truth and charity of her great spirit will live on in the work which is her enduring gift to her country and all its people.

Death Comes For the Archbishop