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The Troll Garden and Selected Stories   By: (1873-1947)

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The Troll Garden and Selected Stories by Willa Sibert Cather is a captivating collection of short stories that showcases the immense talent and literary prowess of the author. Cather's exploration of human nature and the complexities of life through vivid storytelling leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

The collection opens with the eponymous story, "The Troll Garden," which sets the tone for the entire book. It delves deep into the realm of art and its impact on the artists themselves, highlighting the sacrifices they make for their craft. Cather's ability to create intricate characters, with their distinct personalities and motivations, brings the narratives to life, ensuring a deeply immersive reading experience.

Throughout the collection, Cather showcases her mastery in handling diverse themes and genres. From the struggles of artists and writers in "Flavia and Her Artists," to the portrayal of complex love triangles in "Two Friends" and "Paul's Case," each story offers a unique perspective on the human condition. Cather expertly captures the essence of her characters, revealing their deepest desires, fears, and flaws, thus enabling readers to connect with them on a profound level.

One of the standout stories in the collection is "The Sculptor's Funeral." With its evocative descriptions and atmospheric setting, Cather paints a vivid picture of a small, close-knit community grappling with grief, betrayal, and the destructive power of judgment. This tale showcases Cather's ability to create a rich and immersive world, taking readers on an emotional rollercoaster with its well-crafted plot and fully fleshed-out characters.

Another notable story, "A Death in the Desert," explores the life of an artist through the eyes of his devoted wife. Cather delves into the internal struggles of both the artist and his wife, unraveling the intricacies of their relationship and the sacrifices each makes for the other's happiness. The story addresses themes of self-discovery, sacrifice, and the limitations of art with a thoughtfulness and sensitivity that is characteristic of Cather's writing.

Cather's prose is elegant and refined, with descriptive passages that bring the settings alive in the readers' minds. Her ability to evoke a range of emotions, from melancholy to joy, adds depth to each story. The dialogue flows effortlessly, imbuing the characters with authenticity and making their conversations feel natural and engaging.

"The Troll Garden and Selected Stories" is a literary gem that offers readers a glimpse into the complexities of the human experience. Willa Sibert Cather's storytelling prowess shines through each page, leaving the reader both intrigued and moved. This collection is a must-read for anyone seeking beautifully crafted tales that delve into the depths of the human psyche while entertaining and enlightening in equal measure.

First Page:




By Willa Cather


Selected Stories

On the Divide Eric Hermannson's Soul The Enchanted Bluff The Bohemian Girl

The Troll Garden

Flavia and Her Artists The Sculptor's Funeral "A Death in the Desert" The Garden Lodge The Marriage of Phaedra A Wagner Matinee Paul's Case


On the Divide

Near Rattlesnake Creek, on the side of a little draw stood Canute's shanty. North, east, south, stretched the level Nebraska plain of long rust red grass that undulated constantly in the wind. To the west the ground was broken and rough, and a narrow strip of timber wound along the turbid, muddy little stream that had scarcely ambition enough to crawl over its black bottom. If it had not been for the few stunted cottonwoods and elms that grew along its banks, Canute would have shot himself years ago. The Norwegians are a timber loving people, and if there is even a turtle pond with a few plum bushes around it they seem irresistibly drawn toward it.

As to the shanty itself, Canute had built it without aid of any kind, for when he first squatted along the banks of Rattlesnake Creek there was not a human being within twenty miles. It was built of logs split in halves, the chinks stopped with mud and plaster... Continue reading book >>

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