‘the nook’ chooses her top three books written by women in america

#1: My Antonía, by willa cather


willa sibert cather (december 7, 1873 – april 24, 1947) was an american author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the great plains, in works such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark. in 1923 she was awarded the pulitzer prize for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during world war I. cather grew up in nebraska and graduated from the university of nebraska. she lived and worked in pittsburgh for ten years, then at the age of 33 she moved to new york, where she lived for the rest of her life. visit the Willa Cather Foundation to learn more!

#2 House of Mirth, by edith wharton


edith wharton (born edith newbold jones, january 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937) was a pulitzer prize-winning american novelist, short story writer, and designer. in 1885, she married teddy robbins wharton, 12 years her senior. from a well-established boston family, he was a sportsman and gentleman of the same social class and shared her love of travel. from the late 1880s until 1902, he suffered acute depression, and the couple ceased their extensive travel. at that time his depression manifested as a more serious disorder, after which they lived almost exclusively at The Mount, their estate designed by edith wharton. they divorced in 1913. later she began an affair with morton fullerton, a journalist for The Times.

#3: Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, by grace paley


grace paley (december 11, 1922 – august 22, 2007) was born in the bronx to isaac and manya ridnyik goodside, who anglicized the family name from gutseit on immigrating from ukraine. her father was a doctor. the family spoke russian and yiddish along with english.

grace was known for pacifism in her political activism. she advocated for what she called “the betterment of life for everyone.” in the 1950s, grace joined friends in protesting nuclear proliferation and american militarization. she also worked with the American Friends Service Committee to establish neighborhood peace groups, through which she met her second husband robert nichols.

with the escalation of the vietnam war, grace joined the War Resisters League. in 1968, she signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the vietnam war, and in 1969 she came to national prominence as an activist when she accompanied a peace mission to hanoi to negotiate the release of prisoners of war. she served as a delegate to the 1974 world peace conference in moscow and, in 1978 (the year “the nook was born”), she was arrested as one of “The White House Eleven” for unfurling an anti-nuclear banner on the white house lawn.


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