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Cather Inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame

Cather Inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame

Berha Rodgers presents Jay Yost, President Emeritus of the WCF, with a plaque commemorating Cather's induction into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame
Friday, February 25, 2011

On Friday, April 1, 2011 the Empire State Center for the Book inducted nine authors into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. Willa Cather was among this prestigious group of seven deceased and two living authors whose writings have made a lasting contribution to literature.

Willa Cather (1873-1947) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author who first achieved national recognition for novels such as O Pioneers! and My Ántonia, in which she drew on her own experiences of growing up on the frontier prairies of Nebraska. But Cather was born in Virginia, lived for several years in Pittsburgh, spent her last forty years as a resident of New York City, and traveled widely throughout the United States and in Canada and Europe. The imaginative "Catherland" of her fiction draws on the full range of these settings and experiences: the backdrop for much of One of Ours (1922), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, is World War I France; Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) is set in the nineteenth-century American southwest, Shadows on the Rock (1931) in seventeenth-century Quebec; and in her powerful final novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940), Cather returned to the Virginia of her childhood.

Other New York State Writers Hall of Fame inductees were Dorothy Parker, Herman Melville, Madeleine L‘Engle, John Ashbery, Julia DeBurgos, Ralph Ellison, Paula Fox, and Lorraine Hansberry. The induction ceremony into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame was the focus of the Empire State Book Festival Gala in Albany, New York. Plans are underway to house the NYS Writers Hall of Fame at the New York State Library in Albany.

For more information, visit the website of the Empire State Center for the Book.