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Willa Cather



Willa Cather
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.72

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    intimacy, reconnected, transitioned, upmost, engraving, sincerity, feminists, medallion, masculine, orientation, doctorate, honorary, socialite, writing, remainder, mint
     content words:    Willa Sibert Cather, Black Creek Valley, Red Cloud, Lincoln Journal, Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln Courier, Home Monthly, New York City, Willa Cather, Edith Lewis


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Willa Cather
By Jamie Kee
  

1     Willa Sibert Cather, one of America's leading authors, was born December 7, 1873, and died April 24, 1947. She began her life in a family who had spent six generations in the Black Creek Valley near Winchester, Virginia. Willa was the oldest of seven children. When she was ten, the family moved to Catherton, Nebraska, and later to Red Cloud. The remainder of her childhood was spent in Nebraska, an important setting in many of her writings.
 
2     As Cather got older, the idea of college became important to her, so her family borrowed money in order for her to attend the University of Nebraska. During college, her English professor submitted an essay she had written to the Lincoln Journal . This one act became the turning point in her career as a writer. While in college, she joined the student newspaper, the Hesperian. Cather's career began while she was still working on her college degree, because it was then that she began writing for the Nebraska State Journal and the Lincoln Courier.
 
3     After Cather graduated in 1895, she returned to Red Cloud but only stayed for a year. She then moved to Pittsburgh and worked for the Home Monthly. While in the big city of Pittsburgh, she thoroughly enjoyed the cultural scene and experienced an active social life. In 1901, she accepted a high school position where she taught English. Cather's writing got the attention of one of the best-known editors who quickly secured her a job with McClure's Magazine. It was then that she moved to New York City. This decision transformed her career and her future. During this time in her life, Willa Cather continued to write and publish many of her works.

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