Doris Grumbach, 25 June 1987
Willa Cather is one of those American writers whose fictional accomplishments were both applauded and judged harshly when she was alive. Now, forty years after her death, they are the subject of increasing critical interest. In her lifetime she was praised by H.L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, Louise Bogan, but Edmund Wilson said that One of Ours, her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, was a complete failure and that My Antonia ended on the level of a Ladies Home Journal serial. Lionel Trilling called The Professor’s House ‘lame’ and Ernest Hemingway thought Cather had found the war experiences described in One of Ours in D.W. Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation.