Synopses & Reviews
1925. Willa Cather is one of the most interesting women writers in American literary history. Both a teacher, a journalist and a critic as well as a writer, Cather plays an important part in the shaping of American modernist thought and writings. Her fiction is unique in its powerful representation of setting and character and rich in its language and imagery. In The Professor's House, the story's protagonist is Godfrey St. Peter, a man who grew up on the prairie, entered academia and in his fifties has attained professional success and what at first seems to be domestic happiness. But over the year in which the novel's events transpire-the year that follows his family's move to a new house and ends with his near-death in the old one he has refused to abandon-it becomes clear that St. Peter's success is hollow, his relations with his wife and children passionless and embittered. What meaning remains in the professor's life lies in the past, in his relationship with a gifted pupil who died young and whose discoveries have made St. Peter's family wealthy-but at an awful cost.
On the eve of his move to a new, more desirable residence, Professor Godfrey St Peter finds himself in the shabby study of his former home. Surrounded by the comforting, familiar sights of his past, he surveys his life and the people he has lovedhis wife Lillian, his daughters, and Tom Outland, his most outstanding student and once, his son-in-law to be. Enigmatic and courageousand a tragic victim of the Great WarTom has remained a source of inspiration to the professor. But he has also left behind him a troubling legacy which has brought betrayal and fracture to the women he loves most.
About the Author
Willa Cather (1873-1947) was born in Virginia where for generations her ancestors farmed land. She became a teacher and journalist and is one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century.