Willa Cather's early novels of life on the American prairie, such as My Antonia and O Pioneers! are well known. Her novel The Professor's House is much less familiar.
In The Professor's House, Cather explores the thoughts and emotions of a man making the difficult transition from middle to old age and finding, as he looks back over his life, that he has lost sight of the person he once was. The first symptom of Professor Godfrey St. Peter's growing internal crisis is his reluctance to leave his attic study when he and his wife move to a new house. For St. Peter, the study—uncomfortable and inconvenient as it has always been—represents the constancy of his working life and the years devoted to his massive history of the Spanish explorers.
First published: 1925
Widely available at the Chicago Public Library.