Friday, 9 October 2009

Death Comes for the Archbishop

Flowers in brown paper and a new Willa Cather novel. What could be nicer?

I find that recently I've been moving away from 'cosy reads.' You know, the kind of middlebrow comfort novels you read with tea and toast on winter evenings. Not that there is anything wrong with comfort reading but at the moment I want to read novels about life and art and poetry. Which is why I find Willa Cather so satisfying. Death Comes for the Archbishop is about two Catholic priests who ride the Santa Fe trail in the nineteenth century. Cather can write of a masculine, brutal world yet still retain a feminine quality to her prose.

The Willa Cather Foundation site has a link to the stunning flowers and grasses of the prairie. Thanks to the excellent Frisbee: A Book Journal for alerting me to the existence of this site.


alice c said...

I give in! Pass me a Willa Cather. I will let you know how I get on.

Steph said...

I haven't read any Willa Cather, but your recent reviews are strongly suggesting to me that I should! Any suggestions as to where a newbie should start?

Also, what a lovely photo!

Cath said...

This one really intrigues me so I've made a note to get it from the library at some stage. I've yet to read any Willa Cather so should be interesting.

Mad Housewife said...

I I haven't read Death Comes for the Archbishop (or rather I've tried and put it aside). You make me want to try again!

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

I've read a few Cather books and really enjoyed them and you do get me interested in trying more. I am always amused that you are reading Cather and we're reading some Brit author! Loved the link to the Cather Foundation.

Vintage Reading said...

alice, no pressure or anything!

Steph, I would start with The Professor's House - most people would suggest My Antonia, though. both are excellent novels.

Cath, I think you would like Cather, I'll look out for your reviews.

Mad Housewife, this was probably a more difficult read than her other novels. I found it harder to remember all the characters. I believe she based this on stories she heard on her travels, so it is more a series of little anecdotes than a densely plotted novel. Rewarding read, though.

Each Little World, I think we need to arrange a temporary house swap! I adore American literature.

Thomas said...

Have you seen the great pictures of Red Cloud (Cather's hometown) over at Wordlily dot com? She went on a great road trip to check out all the Cather sites.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge Willa Cather fan, but have never read this particular title. I'm looking forward to changing that!

And thank you for the link to the Cather Foundation. Even though I also live on a prairie, it's amazing to see the different plants and flowers from region to region.

Vintage Reading said...

Thomas, yes, I went right over to Wordlily, I loved the light she captured in the photos.

Makedoandread, I'd love to live on a prairie? May I ask where?