Isolation and Masquerade
Willa Cather's Women
Although generations of readers have derived enormous satisfaction from the victories of Willa Cather's great woman characters, and recent lesbian critics and others have triumphantly claimed her as a lesbian writer, few readers or critics have noticed the strain of mistrust for most women that runs through virtually all of Cather's work. This study traces the troubling undercurrent of misogyny signalled by isolation and masquerade in Cather's fiction. It also discusses the ways it affects her portrayals of all her female characters, and how we as readers may respond.
The Author: Frances W. Kaye is the editor of Great Plains Quarterly and an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has published many articles on Canadian and American plains literatures and is co-editor, with Frederick C. Luebke and Gary Moulton, of Mapping the North American Plains (1987).