My Antonia tells the story of several immigrant families who move to rural Nebraska. Antonia is the eldest daughter of the Shimerdas and is a bold and free-hearted young woman who becomes the center of narrator Jim Burden's attention. The novel offers many elements, but clearly documents the struggles of the hard-working immigrants that homesteaded the prairies, particularly the hardships suffered by women.
My Antonia provides Willa Cather with a platform for commentary about women's rights, while weaving a story where romantic interests are ultimately bandied about by the uncontrolled changes that occur in people's lives. The final book of Willa Cather's prairie trilogy, My Antonia (1918) is considered her greatest accomplishment.
Featured in our collection of 25 Great American Novels