My Antonia (1918) is the third book in Cather's Prairie Trilogy, which began with O Pioneers! (1913), and was followed by The Song of the Lark (1915). 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 carefree 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. This final book of Cather's Prairie Trilogy is considered her greatest accomplishment. We feature it in our collection of 25 Great American Novels.
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