Arnold, Marilyn. Willa Cather’s Short Fiction. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1984. In this indexed volume, Arnold discusses all Cather’s known short fiction chronologically. The detailed investigations will be helpful both for readers new to Cather’s stories and those who are more familiar with them. Discussions of stories which have received little critical attention are especially useful. Includes a selected bibliography.
Bennett, Mildred R. The World of Willa Cather. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1961. A biography, particularly good in recalling Cather’s Nebraska girlhood. It is filled with vivid descriptions of Red Cloud and the Midwest of the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
Bloom, Edward A., and Lillian D. Bloom. Willa Cather’s Gift of Sympathy. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962. Considered a classic work of criticism on Cather’s works. Addresses Cather’s gift of sympathy and skillfully relates it to her thematic interests and technical proficiency. Discusses not only Cather’s fiction but also her poetry and essays.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Views: Willa Cather. New York: Chelsea House, 1985. Collection of essays includes what Bloom describes as “the best literary criticism on Cather over the last half-century.” Particularly valuable for serious Cather scholars. Includes chronology and bibliography.
Brown, Edward K., and Leon Edel. Willa Cather: A Critical Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1953. The standard scholarly biography, completed by Edel, the well-known biographer of Henry James. This volume concentrates on biographical information which can be deduced from Cather’s works.
Daiches, David. Willa Cather: A Critical Introduction. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1951. An appropriate book for readers new to Cather’s works. It is scholarly, well indexed, and a classic reference text.
De Roche, Linda. Student Companion to Willa Cather. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006. Provides an introductory overview of Cather’s life and work aimed at high school students, college undergraduates, and general readers. Includes analyses of O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and Death Comes for the Archbishop.
Fryer, Judith. Felicitous Space: The Imaginative Structures of Edith Wharton and Willa Cather. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986. Although there are many full-length studies on Cather’s writing, this volume is particularly noteworthy for its examination of Cather using current feminist thinking. Fryer explores Cather’s fiction in terms of the “interconnectedness between space and the female imagination” and cites her as a transformer of social and cultural structures. A thorough and interesting study, recommended for its contribution to women’s studies in literature. Includes extensive notes.
Gerber, Philip L. Willa Cather. Rev. ed. New York: Twayne, 1995. Provides an overview of Cather’s life and her work, including novels and short stories, and describes the resurgence of criticism of her writings. Includes chronology, notes, annotated bibliography, and index.
Goldberg, Jonathan. Willa Cather and Others. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2001. Discusses Cather’s work in relation to the work of various female contemporaries of the author, including opera singer Olive Fremstad, ethnographer and novelist Blair Niles, photographer Laura Gilpin, and writer Pat Barker. Uses the work of these other women as a means to study Cather’s fiction, including O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, The Song of the Lark, and...