Cather Studies, Volume 13


Cather Studies, Volume 13

Willa Cather's Pittsburgh

Edited by Timothy W. Bintrim, James A. Jaap, and Kimberly Vanderlaan

Cather Studies Series

378 pages
19 photographs, 6 illustrations, 1 map, index


July 2021


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

July 2021


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

July 2021


$40.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Willa Cather wrote about the places she knew, including Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia. Often forgotten among these essential locations has been Pittsburgh. During the ten years Pittsburgh was her home (1896–1906), Cather worked as an editor, journalist, teacher, and freelance writer. She mixed with all sorts of people and formed friendships both ephemeral and lasting. She published extensively—and not just profiles and reviews but also a collection of poetry, April Twilights, and more than thirty short stories, including several collected in The Troll Garden that are now considered masterpieces: “A Death in the Desert,” “The Sculptor’s Funeral,” “A Wagner Matinee,” and “Paul’s Case.” During extended working vacations through 1916, she finished four novels in Pittsburgh.

Cather Studies, Volume 13 explores the myriad ways that these crucial years in Pittsburgh shaped Cather’s writing career and the artistic, professional, and personal connections she made there. With contributions from fourteen well-known Cather scholars, this collection of essays recognizes the importance Pittsburgh played in Cather’s life and work and deepens our appreciation of how her art examines and elucidates the human experience.


Author Bio

Timothy W. Bintrim is a professor of English at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. James A. Jaap is a teaching professor of English and the assistant chief academic officer at the Greater Allegheny campus of the Pennsylvania State University. Kimberly Vanderlaan is an associate professor of English at California University of Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.


"Joining the prestigious Cather Studies series, Willa Cather's Pittsburgh provides valuable information and insights on what is probably the least known period in the author's life and career, her years in Pittsburgh from 1896 to 1906. Editors Tim Bintrim, James Jaap, and Kimberly Vanderlaan brought particular expertise to bear on the subject, and the result is a highly useful and thought-provoking collection."—Janis Stout, American Literary Realism

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Timothy W. Bintrim, James A. Jaap, and Kimberly Vanderlaan
Prologue: Becoming “Miss Cather from Pittsburgh”
Ann Romines
Part 1. East Meets West
1. Bicycles and Freedom in Red Cloud and Pittsburgh: Willa Cather’s Early Transformations of Place and Gender in “Tommy, the Unsentimental”
Daryl W. Palmer
2. Where Pagodas Rise on Every Hill: Romance as Resistance in “A Son of the Celestial”
Michael Gorman
3. The Boxer Rebellion, Pittsburgh’s Missionary Crisis, and “The Conversion of Sum Loo”
Timothy W. Bintrim
Part 2. Class Action: Retrying “Paul’s Case”
4. Growing Pains: The City behind Cather’s Pittsburgh Classroom
Mary Ruth Ryder
5. Big Steel and Class Consciousness in “Paul’s Case”
Charmion Gustke
6. “The Most Exciting Attractions Are between Two Opposites That Never Meet”: Willa Cather and Andy Warhol
Todd Richardson
Part 3. Friendships, Literary and Musical
7. Willa Cather as Translator: The Pittsburgh “French Soirées”
Diane Prenatt
8. A Collegial Friendship: Willa Cather and Ethel Herr Litchfield
John H. Flannigan
9. Grave and God-Free: Ethelbert Nevin as a Pivotal Historical Source in “The Professor’s Commencement” and The Professor’s House
Kimberly Vanderlaan
Part 4. Later Stories
10. “I’m Working, I’m Working”: The Industrious Artist of Pittsburgh in Willa Cather’s The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine Publications
Kelsey Squire
11. Venetian Window: Pittsburgh Glass and Modernist Community in “Double Birthday” 
Joseph C. Murphy
12. Cather’s Pittsburgh and the Alchemy of Social Class
Angela Conrad
Epilogue: Why Willa Cather? A Retrospective
John J. Murphy

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