I’m not sure I’d have discovered Willa Cather so soon (or ever?) if I hadn’t. My Ántonia is one of my favourite books, and I love it wildly and loyally, and this story is its worthy companion in my heart. She writes with spaces and rhythm and, somehow, a soaring plainness, if there can be such a thing. Vast and clear without every being fussy, but also, detail of the like you can’t imagine not having known before you read it. She also is a champion when it comes to unrequited love.
Though when we are young we seldom think much about it, there is now and again a golden day when we feel a sudden, arrogant pride in our youth; in the lightness of our feet and the strength of our arms, in the warm fluid that courses so surely within us; when we are conscious of something powerful and mercurial in our breasts, which comes up wave after wave and leaves us irresponsible and free.