The daughter of a Swedish minister growing up in Colorado, Thea
Kronborg's adolescent ability on the piano is encouraged by her
eccentric German music teacher, Professor Wuncsch, and by the
kindly but unhappily married Dr. Howard Archie. Set apart from the
townspeople by her talents, Thea's friends are far from
conventional. At 17 she leaves them and her mother's influence to
go to Chicago where she studies with the pianist Andor Harsanyi.
Having overheard her singing in a church, he is the mentor who
discovers the potential of Thea's singing voice and sends her to
study with the chill and selfish Madison Bowers, whom she dislikes.
Her story moves to Arizona when she and a wealthy young brewer,
Fred Ottenburg fall in love. A tension between her relationship
with him and the driving artistic impulse that has always ruled her
develops and becomes the novel's compelling central, theme.
Cather's lyrical, atmospheric, and moving novel is a thinly
veited autobiography of a female artist in America at the turn of
the century. A mature work filled with memorable characters all of
whom influence Thea in different ways, The Song of the Lark
deserves to be read alongside O Pioneers! and My Antonia and fully
justifies Cather's status as one of America's greatest
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