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Extended Audio Sample The Song of the Lark 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 (2,948 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Willa Cather Narrator: Christine Williams Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781455196586
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In this semiautobiographical portrait of a young artist in the making, Willa Cather takes us into the heart of a woman coming to know her deepest self. Thea Kronborg, a minister’s daughter in a provincial Colorado town, has dreams and gifts that her humble hometown will not satisfy. With the support of a few allies who recognize her rare qualities, she follows her ambitions to the big city, determined to be an opera diva. As she moves through a series of music teachers in Chicago, Thea finds that the attitudes and standards of those around her rarely match her own. It is only when she reconnects with pure nature in a brilliant Arizona desert canyon that Thea rediscovers the sensuous, mystical openness that is the source of her art. Realizing she must protect this experience at all costs, she resolves to shed all relationships that don’t serve her higher purpose.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Cather knew some important truths and kindly took the time to write them down eloquently to share them with us—uncommonly valuable truths—even a hundred years later.”

    OneMoreOption

  • The Song of the Lark is one of several works in which Cather displays her lyrical powers.”

    Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature

  • “A moving tale of an artist's self-discovery.”

    New York Times

Listener Opinions

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

    " "...The stream and the broken pottery: what was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself--life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose? The Indian women had held it in their jars. In the sculpture she had seen at the Art Institute, it had been caught in a flash of arrested motion. In singing , one made a vesself of one's throat and nostrils and held it on one's breath, caught the stream in a scale of natual intervals." p.273 "

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

    " This book follows the story of a talented young women's humble beginnings against the backdrop of the western landscape in a small town where she did not seem to belong. A man's bequeath gave her enough money to go east to further her musical training and eventually to the Metropolitan Opera. It is Willa Cather's most autobiographical book and the story of the challenges even the most gifted can encounter as they try to develop those talents. "

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

    " This was the first novel I had ever read by Cather. I loved it and plan to read more! "

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

    " I really loved this book. It's worth slowing down and reading every word for the descriptions of Colorado and Arizona and the the gems of insights hidden in the middle of nowhere. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie Sykes | 1/22/2014

    " There's a scene in this one in which the main character goes to the caves of New Mexico to "commune" with ancient spirits and restore her own -- even many years after reading this book, that scene has stuck with me for the way it made me feel the deep wonder of the western parts of this country. That's something I think Cather is good at in general -- this book also throws in complicated characters and ambitions to boot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kendall | 1/15/2014

    " ooh, not my favorite but i got it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 1/13/2014

    " A haunting story. It describes well the artist who gives up their lives for the sake of art. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Gambino | 12/31/2013

    " A great heart-warming story and every bit as good as good as "My Antonia" by the same author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Fischer | 12/15/2013

    " A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman. Great book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelley | 12/14/2013

    " All I have to say is thank goodness it is over, it didn't keep my attention, I didn't really like the main character, and the descriptives bogged down the novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Wilson | 8/10/2013

    " This book is my anthem. Thea Kronberg is the driven beast I long to be. Dr. Archie is the father every girl wants, and Otto is a dream. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jacky | 6/16/2013

    " I liked this book, but it was so long and I was distracted by other summer pursuits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lacy | 4/12/2013

    " I really like Willa Cather's books. The Song of the Lark really showcases how each of us is faced with decisions and choices. Thea follows her dreams, but we see along the way what she gives up to do so. The supporting characters really touched me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom | 3/11/2013

    " So nice to read something where people do not sink to today's low standards. This is more like 3 1/2 stars. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anna | 1/25/2013

    " Oh man. Terrible and disappointing, especially since I've liked every other thing I've read by Willa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/16/2012

    " I'm liking it, but I've moved on to other books. I hope to finish it someday. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terrol Williams | 11/14/2012

    " Five stars, like all Willa Cather I've read. Not my favorite of hers (Death Comes for the Archbishop has that honor), but Cather is magnificent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allie Larkin | 9/22/2012

    " This is my all time favorite book. I'm a little obsessed with Willa Cather. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 9/16/2012

    " A unique plot that is ahead of its time, a strong female main character ahead of her time. But...painfully redundant at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 8/12/2012

    " I'd probably give this 3.5 stars, actually. The first four parts weren't bad (though a bit too descriptive at times), but the last part ("Kronborg") seemed to drag. It was enjoyable, but I probably wouldn't read it again. I read this book for my American Women Writers class. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jlolds | 7/12/2012

    " Well written but just didn't hold my interest to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 6/30/2012

    " Beautiful lyrical, memorable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wil | 5/15/2012

    " I reread this for my book group...the lapse of time was so long that I had forgotten much of it...but Willa Cather is always great reading, and here her analysis of genius is captivating. "

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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 major fiction writers of the 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. She won the Pulitzer Prize in1923 for One of Ours.

About the Narrator

Christine Williams is a singer and actor based in Ashland, Oregon. Her performance credits include productions at regional theaters and on concert stages across the country and around the world, from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Barbican Centre in London to the Aspen Music Festival and the Grotowski Institute in Poland.