Shadows on the Rock is a novel by the American writer Willa Cather, published in 1931. The novel covers one year of the lives of Cecile Auclair and her father Euclide, French colonists in Quebec. Like many of Cather’s books, the story is driven by detailed portraits of the characters, rather than a narrative plot.
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At the University of Nebraska she showed a marked talent for journalism and story writing, and on graduating in 1895 she obtained a position in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on a family magazine. Later she worked as copy editor and music and drama editor of the Pittsburgh Leader. She turned to teaching in 1901 and in 1903 published her first book of verses, April Twilights. In 1905, after the publication of her first collection of short stories, The Troll Garden, she was appointed managing editor of McClure?s, the New York muckraking monthly. After building up its declining circulation, she left in 1912 to devote herself wholly to writing novels.
Cather?s first novel, Alexander?s Bridge (1912), was a factitious story of cosmopolitan life. Under the influence of Sarah Orne Jewett?s regionalism, however, she turned to her familiar Nebraska material. With O Pioneers! (1913) and My ?ntonia (1918), which has frequently been adjudged her finest achievement, she found her characteristic themes?the spirit and courage of the frontier she had known in her youth. One of Ours (1922), which won the Pulitzer Prize, and A Lost Lady (1923) mourned the passing of the pioneer spirit.
In her earlier Song of the Lark (1915), as well as in the tales assembled in Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920), including the much-anthologized ?Paul?s Case,? and Lucy Gayheart (1935), Cather reflected the other side of her experience?the struggle of a talent to emerge from the constricting life of the prairies and the stifling effects of small-town life.