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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

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Never Far From Home

Never Far From Home


Never Far fome Home: Willa Cather, On Choosing Names from Frederick County, Virginia, for Her Literary Characters
By: Barbara E. Hustwit

After Barbara Hustwit finished reading all of Cather's novels and short stories, she began reading about Willa Cather herself. Who was she? Where did her ideas come from? Who were the real-life people who showed up as characters in her works? This curiosity resulted in a book entitled Never Far from Home: Willa Cather on Choosing Surnames from Frederick County, Virginia, for Her Literary Characters. The book lists 202 individual surnames out of 2,544 names listed on Frederick County, Virginia, census records spanning from 1738-1908 and identifies 351 characters whose surnames appear on the records. It is a must-read for any Cather fan who has a connection to northern Virgina or is interested in learning about how Cather's earliest experiences as a Southerner inspired her work.