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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

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Dr. Melissa J. Homestead in Conversation with Alex Ross

Dr. Melissa J. Homestead in Conversation with Alex Ross

Friday, March 26, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Special Preview Event

The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather & Edith Lewis

Dr. Melissa Homestead in Conversation with Alex Ross

Please join us virtually for a highly-anticipated preview event and fundraiser!

Author Melissa J. Homestead and music critic Alex Ross of The New Yorker will discuss her book The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather & Edith Lewis, set for release on April 1, 2021. While ample scholarship on Willa Cather’s life and writing has emerged since her death in 1947, little attention has been given to Edith Lewis, Cather’s partner of nearly forty years. More than a decade of research has culminated in this first thorough study of the life Cather and Lewis shared. From their time in New York City to their travels in the American Southwest that formed the basis of the novels Death Comes for the Archbishop and The Professor's House, Homestead has carefully reconstructed their life together. With a close examination of Edith Lewis at the center of the research, she asserts that Lewis was a creative mind who devotedly worked alongside Cather, as both an editor and collaborator.

This special fundraising event marks the first public discussion of the book. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Willa Cather Foundation’s educational programs. Homestead, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Governors, and Foundation friend, Alex Ross, are uniting for what is sure to be an enlightening evening. Your ticket purchase, excluding the book price, is tax-deductible and directly supports the Willa Cather Foundation’s mission to promote Willa Cather’s legacy through education, preservation, and the arts. All virtual events are listed in central standard time, and ticket holders will receive Zoom access via email ahead of the event.

Tax-deductible* ticket options:

  • $50 Ticket = access to the virtual event
  • $90 Ticket = access to the virtual event and a copy of the book
  • $150 Patron Ticket = access to the virtual event, a signed copy of the book, and a 30-minute post-event extended Q&A session with Ross and Homestead

* Note: For $90 and $150 tickets, the value of the book and sales tax ($42.75) is not tax-deductible.

Dr. Melissa J. Homestead

Dr. Melissa Homestead joined the faculty at UNL in 2005 as an associate professor of English and was promoted to full professor in 2013. Her research focuses on the history of American women’s literary authorship from the Early Republic through the early 20th century. Her book American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869 examines how popular white women novelists negotiated copyright law and laws restricting the ability of married women to own property. She maintains an ongoing research interest in 19th-century American women authors, including E.D.E.N. Southworth, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, and Sarah Orne Jewett, but also works on twentieth-century novelist Willa Cather and directs the Cather Project in the Department of English. Her book The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Homestead is a member of the Willa Cather Foundation Board of Governors.

Alex Ross

Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, is a regular visitor to Red Cloud and has been intrigued by Cather’s musical inspirations. He is the author of Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music and the widely praised music compendium The Rest is Noise. In 2017, Ross attended the Willa Cather Spring Conference and wrote about the experience for The New Yorker in “A Walk in Willa Cather’s Prairie.” He delivered the keynote address at the 2020 Willa Cather Spring Conference with a memorable lecture titled "Willa Cather, Olive Fremstad, and the Singer in Fiction."