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The Song of the Lark
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About the Author

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather (1873-1947) spent her formative years in Nebraska, which was at that time frontier territory. Her exposure to the region's dramatic environment and intrinsic hardships - along with its diverse population of European-Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants - shaped and informed much of her fiction.

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Cather's semiautobiographical bildungsroman about the evolution of an artist revolves around young Thea Kronborg, who leaves smalltown Colorado for Chicago in order to realize her dream of becoming a trained pianist and piano teacher. But her tutor, Mr. Harsanyi, soon discovers Thea's talent for singing and persuades her to pursue that path. Along the way, Thea is championed and romanced by Fred Ottenburg, the rich heir of a beer magnate. Christine Williams is an able reader: her narration is clear and clean, though a little dull. More problematic is Williams's rendition of Thea, which feels flat. Additionally, the narrator's speech becomes breathy during emotional moments (e.g., a kiss)-a tic that affects every character, even the males. As such, it is often difficult to distinguish vocally between Thea and her beau, Fred. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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