2018 marks one-hundred years since the first publication of My Antonia by Willa Cather (Houghton Mifflin, 1918). Raised in Red Cloud, Nebraska Willa Cather was dubbed "Nebraska's foremost citizen" by Sinclair Lewis. Cather lived much of her life in New York City, but she spent time regularly in New Hampshire and was buried there, at the Old Burying Ground, Jaffrey Center, when she died in April 1947. Beginning in the summer of 1917 she was staying at the Shattuck Inn in Jaffrey and spending her mornings writing in a tent pitched in a nearby field. You can learn more about this period in Cather's life in the Spring 2009 issue of Book Notes (p. 9).
“It was the high season for summer flowers. The pink bee-bush stood tall along the sandy roadsides, and the cone-flowers and rose mallow grew everywhere. Across the wire fence, in the long grass, I saw a clump of flaming orange-coloured milkweed, rare in that part of the state. I left the road and went around through a stretch of pasture that was always cropped short in summer, where the gaillardia came up year after year and matted over the ground with the deep, velvety red that is in Bokhara carpets. The country was empty and solitary except for the larks that Sunday morning, and it seemed to lift itself up to me and to come very close." (My Antonia)