We were very much alike, and very different. He could never escape from the misery of being himself, except in action, and whatever he put his hand to turned out either ugly or ridiculous.... I was staying on his father's farm when the war broke out. We spent the first week hauling wheat to town. On those long rides on the wheat, we talked for the first time in years, and I saw some of the things that were really in the back of his mind.... I had no more thought of writing a story about him than of writing about my own nose. It was all too painfully familiar. It was just to escape from him and his kind that I wrote at all.
Grosvenor was killed in 1918 in Cantigny, France. Cather learned of his death while reading the newspaper in a hair salon.
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About the Author
Born in Virginia, Willa Cather (1873-1948) moved with her family to Nebraska before she was ten, which later provided the setting for her best-known novels. The books O Pioneers! and My Antonia, especially, with their focus on immigrant life on the prairie, established Cather as a major American novelist.
Date of Birth:December 7, 1873
Date of Death:April 27, 1947
Place of Birth:Winchester, Virginia
Place of Death:New York, New York
Education:B.A., University of Nebraska, 1895