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Death Comes for the Archbishop (Virago Modern Classics) [Paperback]

By Willa Cather & A. S. Byatt (Introduction by)
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Item Number 337411  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   237
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.74" Width: 5.04" Height: 0.66"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2006
Publisher   Virago UK
ISBN  1844083721  
EAN  9781844083725  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In 1851 Bishop Latour and his friend Father Valliant are despatched to New Mexico to reawaken its slumbering Catholicism. Moving along the endless prairies, Latour spreads his faith the only way he knows--gently, although he must contend with the unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests, and his own loneliness. Over nearly 40 years, they leave converts and enemies, crosses, and occasionally ecstasy in their wake. But it takes a death for them to make their mark on the landscape forever.

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More About Willa Cather & A. S. Byatt

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Wila Cather was probably born in Virginia in 1873, although her parents did not register the date, and it is probably incorrectly given on her tombstone. Because she is so famous for her Nebraska novels, many people assume she was born there, but Wila Cather was about nine years old when her family moved to a small Nebraska frontier town called Red Cloud that was populated by immigrant Swedes, Bohemians, Germans, Poles, Czechs, and Russians. The oldest of seven children, she was educated at home, studied with a Latin neighbor, and read the English classics in the evening. By the time she went to the University of Nebraska in 1891-where she began by wearing boy's clothes and cut her hair close to her head-she had decided to be a writer.

After graduation she worked for a Lincoln, Nebraska, newspaper, then moved to Pittsburgh and finally to New York City. There she joined McClure's magazine, a popular muckraking periodical that encouraged the writing of new young authors. After meeting the author Sarah Orne Jewett, she decided to quit journalism and devote herself full time to fiction. Her first novel, Alexander's Bridge, appeared in serial form in McClure's in 1912. But her place in American literature was established with her first Nebraska novel, O Pioneers!, published in 1913, which was followed by her most famous pioneer novel, My Antonia, in 1918. In 1922 she won the Pulitzer Prize for one of her lesser-known books. One of Ours. Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), her masterpiece, and Shadows on the Rock (1931) also celebrated the pioneer spirit, but in the Southwest and French Canada. Her other novels include The Song of the Lark (1915), The Professor's House (1925), My Mortal Enemy (1926), and Lucy Gayheart (1935). Wila Cather died in 1947.

Willa Cather lived in the state of Nebraska. Willa Cather was born in 1873 and died in 1947.

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1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Byatt, A.S.   [7  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( C ) > Cather, Willa   [111  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics   [0  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Great American Novel  Oct 17, 2008
This book is on the short list of great novels published in this country, and is arguably Cather's masterpiece. Based on the historic Bishop Lamy of 19th century Santa Fe, Cather's Bishop Latour is called to civilize a land with a complex and tangled history. Cather presents him as a hero cowboy on horseback, facing off against various challenges natural and human from the day he is dispatched from Rome until his death years later.

The prose is stately, but rich and colored -- modern English clear, direct, and chiseled. Each chapter is a self-contained episode, directly modeled on Giotto's Life of Saint Francis panel circa 1300, wherein roughly a dozen separate pictures depict famous episodes of the saint's life. Cather rigorously studied classical art, music, and architecture, and was as artistically conscious as other pioneer artists of her generation -- Frank Lloyd Wright in architecture, Stieglitz in photography. Coming dead center between Stephen Crane and Ernest Hemingway, and sharing a preoccupation with both of them for the American West, this book richly resonates as an ever-fresh, peculiarly American piece of classic writing.
Tale of the Old Southwest and the Missionaries  Nov 19, 2007
To be honest, the title was not one that I would have picked up on my own, and the book was recommended to me several times before I decided to read it. (You can't tell a book by it's Title) Worthy of all of it's critical acclaim, I have read this novel over several times, not only for it's splendid story line, but for the sheer brilliance of it, each time marveling at it's beauty and style. Though it deals with religion, it does it tastefully, openly, and allows the reader to see the underside of the human element that powers it.

Though all men may be "created equal", their characters are not, and this story is powerful in that regard as it exposes men of the cloth that are there simply as users of others, as opposed to the devoted, the sincere who's life work has been striven to the good.

The novel is timeless. The story unfolds in France and Italy, is about two boyhood friends who study for the priesthood together and subsequently end up doing their life's work together in the wild, open country of the New Mexico and Arizona frontiers. This work spans their entire lives, and the adventures, trials and hardships are many. The artistry that Willa Cather employs as she takes her reader through the magnificent, lonely expanses of sage and cactus, to the Mexican people in remote areas; the lawless exiles who hope to disappear into it's wilderness, is all accomplished as though a painter is at work beside her, shaping her words into visuals, makes this work one of her best, in my view.
An American Classic  Nov 5, 2007
Cather, who is famous for the lyrical quality of her sensitive writing, does not disappoint in this spectacular novel. She creates a rich and sensitive tapestry of human experience, spinning a yarn of struggle, revelation, love, cruelty, adaptation, and ultimate triumph. She never yields to the temptations of fatuous romanticism or trite platitudes. This book is an experience that transports the reader into another time in another place, but then provides the most insightful among us with the material needed to extrapolate from this experience, and apply it to other places in other times. This is a uniquely American masterpiece that will resonate with those who may have grown out of spy thrillers and whodunits.

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