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Willa Cather

A Consummate Artist

Like her character, Mandy Ringer, in Sapphira and The Slave Girl, Willa Cather was "born interested." She wrote from many vantage points: autobiographical, historical, male, female. She understood that producing literature was not finding your subject, then repeating yourself endlessly, but approaching each new work with a fresh and inquiring eye. Thus she fit no type. Although Alfred Kazin called her "a consummate artist" in 1942, most critics, who were male, did not know what to do with her.