Cather, Willa (Sibert) (b. Wilella Cather)(1875–1947) writer; born in Back Creek Valley (later Gore), Va. Raised on the Nebraska prairie and educated at the University of Nebraska, she went to Pittsburgh, Pa., where she worked as a journalist and teacher while beginning her writing career. In 1906 she moved to New York City to work on McClure's magazine (1906–12) before turning to full-time writing. (She published her early works as "Willa Sibert Cather.") Her spare, imagistic novels of pioneer life, several involving independent heroines in Nebraska or in Southwestern settings, include O Pioneers! (1913), My Antonia (1918), and Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927). She won a Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922). She continued to produce a respected body of work, including such novels as The Professor's House (1925), Shadows on the Rock (1931), and Sapphira and the Slave (1940), and several decades after her death she would be revived by feminists who saw anticipatory themes in both her life and work.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.