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Download O Pioneers! Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample O Pioneers! Audiobook, by Willa Cather Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (16,044 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Willa Cather Narrator: Dana Ivey Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2008 ISBN: 9781598877038
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Cather’s heroine, Alexandra Bergson, would, in fact, become the model for the pioneer women of later literature.

Spirited, courageous, and independent, the daughter of Swedish immigrants, Alexandra assumes responsibility for the family farm—and her family—upon the death of her father. Her devotion to the harsh, forbidding prairie transforms her land and her life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • At once a sophisticated pastoral and a prototype for later feminist novels, O Pioneers! is a work in which triumph is inextricably enmeshed with tragedy, a story of people who do not claim a land so much as they submit to it and, in the process, become greater than they were.
  • The land belongs to the future... that's the way it seems to me....I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother's children. We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it -- for a little while."
  • O Pioneers! (1913) was Willa Cather's first great novel, and to many it remains her unchallenged masterpiece. No other work of fiction so faithfully conveys both the sharp physical realities and the mythic sweep of the transformation of the American frontier -- and the transformation of the people who settled it. Cather's heroine is Alexandra Bergson, who arrives on the wind-blasted prairie of Hanover, Nebraska, as a girl and grows up to make it a prosperous farm. But this archetypal success story is darkened by loss, and Alexandra's devotion to the land may come at the cost of love itself.

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 2/13/2014

    " convinced a friend who is more of a die-hard history and military buff to read this one along with me. he did and ended up falling for willa's writing style and characters. thumbs up fr bith of us "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy P. | 2/9/2014

    " An interesting book with feminist themes printed in a time when feminism was not an accepted mainstream ideology. Willa Cather was definitely before her time and I appreciate her for it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 2/9/2014

    " Vaguely: Little House on the Prairie, but sped up with a super depressing ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha | 2/5/2014

    " This was our book club book. I really liked it, and am embarrassed that I'd never read it yet. I think I will read all Willa Cather's books now. It's a short book, I thought I might find it dry and a little slow, but it was not. It was more tragic than I thought it would be, but then, we're talking about Svedes from da olde country, so what could I expect? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 1/29/2014

    " Finally, I read O Pioneers! for the first time. My, Willa Cather is an excellent writer! And strong female characters! Sensitive men! (And some annoying brothers, too.) Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and looking forward to reading more by Cather. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 1/27/2014

    " Wonderful book. I wish I'd read it as a teenager/student. Still enjoyed immensely. I'm going to keep reading Cather. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 1/23/2014

    " Absolute best. Quick, pretty, prairies, romance, intrigue. Best best best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 1/23/2014

    " Part of a recent mini-immersion into Nebraska pioneer literature (sort of odd, given that I've never even been to Nebraska. But Cather's writing makes me wish I could have seen the landscape, lovely and bleak, as she described it). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 1/19/2014

    " I didn't like it as much as My Antonia, but still worth a read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Rye | 1/18/2014

    " Achingly and beautifully written. Reads well on its centenary, which won't be said of many contemporary novels. A heart rending and evocative story rich in character and land. Wonderful read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 1/5/2014

    " I really am never disappointed with Cather. The landscape itself is a solid character that warms my bones. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Musiclovebliss | 12/13/2013

    " This was the perfect novel to read while visiting my cousin in Montana. Ms. Cather has such a way of respecting the earth and surroundings, and her descriptions of the land being so vastly breathtaking seemed to make me closer in my own relationship to nature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 12/9/2013

    " i actually thought this was going to be a boring book. Turns out that it became an interesting story. The protagonist, Alexandra is trying to fix her father's prairie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marilyn | 12/1/2013

    " Always great to read a classic, and this one isn't too daunting to get through either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 11/30/2013

    " Reminds me of home, save a few minor details. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jillian Kathryn | 7/9/2013

    " beautiful. just beautiful. love love love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daisy | 4/24/2013

    " Good book, but not my favorite Cather. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer Judge | 12/22/2012

    " I wanted to like this book since I had heard such great things about this classic. But I was more often then not frustrated with the main characters choices and found it slow going. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 8/23/2012

    " Cather gives the reader a good feel for the frontier as it was, and good characters. Sad events, but interesting story to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Alice | 6/17/2012

    " One of the best books I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sciman | 3/12/2012

    " Superb read with powerful prose not to be forgotten. Evokes time and place, texture of the culture, and fascinating characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heleen | 1/16/2012

    " I finished this book over the summer and as it turns out we are going to read it for book club! I loved the language and the story, which is no surprise from Willa Cather. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alyssa | 8/7/2011

    " slow start, but great by the second half. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverly | 7/14/2011

    " This is what a classic is all about. It stands up to the passage of time. Though published in 1913, it is relevant today. A strong woman protaganist, beautiful descriptions of the land and life on the Nebraska prairie. Good read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynda | 6/27/2011

    " Read this for Chautuaqua coming to Stuhr musem in June! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Johnson Davis | 6/12/2011

    " Wonderful! Love love love Willa Cather's writing style. Simple and rich at the same time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 5/19/2011

    " Rich characterizations, timeless themes. Beautifully written and inspiring - loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 5/15/2011

    " Enjoyable, but not a must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 4/28/2011

    " Willa Cather is rocking my world this semester! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 4/25/2011

    " One of my most favorite books........ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 4/19/2011

    " It tells a small story and makes me want to work in the dirt. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanna | 4/18/2011

    " Would be four stars if not for the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 4/14/2011

    " Although Alexandra was a little too good to be true, I loved the descriptions on the plains and farming life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug | 4/12/2011

    " A great book, but sometimes painful to read. But a beautifully thorough sense of these women of the plains like my grandmother and, less so, my mother who learned to survive in unforgiving worlds. Outstanding. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 3/18/2011

    " I do love no nonsense strong women and Alexandra Bergson is my kind of woman! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 3/18/2011

    " Lovely little book. First Willa Cather I have read. "

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About the Author
Author Willa Cather

Willa Cather (1873–1947), the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of more than fifteen books, is widely considered one of the most distinguished American writers of the early twentieth century. She grew up in Nebraska and is best known for her depictions of frontier life on the Great Plains in novels such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and Song of the Lark. In 1944 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.

About the Narrator

Dana Ivey was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her undergraduate degree at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and then received a Fulbright grant to study drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was a member of the Phi Mu sorority at Rollins College. She received an Honorary Doctorate (Humane Letters) from Rollins College in February 2008. She made her Broadway debut playing two small roles in a 1981 production of Macbeth. She has appeared in many film and television roles. Recently Ivey was in the Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest as Lady Bracknell.