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Fiction/Biography Profile
Jim Burden (Male), Orphan, Met Antonia on a train; Sent to live with his grandparents at the age of ten; became friends with Antonio; taught Antonio English; attended college where he greatly missed the prairie life and his friends; returns to Nebraska twenty years later
Antonia Shimerda (Female), Farmer, Bohemian, Immigrant, Married, Mother, Her family was Jim's grandparent's new neighbors; father committed suicide; moved to Denver with a railroad man who left her pregnant and unmarried; returned to Nebraska to work in the fields
Farm life
Pioneer life
Childhood friendship
Childhood memories
Social classes
Nebraska - Midwest (U.S.)
Time Period
1800s -- 19th century
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

This audio edition of Cather's novel and final book in the author's prairie trilogy is adequately narrated by Mondelli. Following the death of his parents, Jim Burden was sent to Black Hawk, Neb., to live with grandparents. It was in Black Hawk that he met the great and enduring love of his life, the bohemian Antonia. Years later, lawyer Jim returns to Black Hawk, where he revisits the past and witnesses how both their lives have changed. Mondelli's reading will likely fail to delight Cather fans. While his pacing, tone, and pronunciation are workmanlike, they do little to enliven the author's text. Similarly, the voices he lends the book's characters are distinct and sufficient, but nothing more. Overall, listeners will likely feel that the narrator could have done more to bring this classic novel to life. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<p> </p> <p>Of Ántonia, the passionate and majestic central character in Willa Cather's greatest novel, the narrator, Jim Burden, says that she left "images in the mind that did not fade-that grew stronger with time." The same is true of the book in which Cather enshrines her heroine. On one level, My Ántonia is a straight forward narrative, written in limpid prose of uncanny descriptive accuracy, about the struggles endured by a family of immigrant pioneers and the small community that surrounds them on the unsettled Nebraska plains. On another, it is a novel that represents a perfect marriage of form and feeling.</p> <p> </p> <p>In its magnificent tableaux of human beings caught in the toils of an abundant and overpowering natural world, and in the quiet, understated sympathy it displays for life of every sort, My Ántonia is a novel that effortlessly encompasses history and wilderness and the destiny of the individual-even as it lovingly and unsentimentally portrays a woman whose robust spirit and enduring warmth make her emblematic of what Cather most admired in the American people.</p>
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