One of Ours

Willa Cather (1873-1947) was awarded the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for this stirring novel about World War I. She brings to life the simple Nebraska farm folk and their tranquil rural lifestyle, showing how the Great War, seemingly so far away on the Old Continent, eventually touches them all. Protagonist Claude Wheeler, a strong, healthy farm boy, is physically typical of his sturdy sodbuster family and hard-working neighbors. But mentally the boy has little in common with their narrow outlooks, and the limited horizons of his parochial community make him restless and filled with a barely suppressed discontent. When the United States finally enters the conflict in Europe, Claude is one of the first to enlist, seeing purpose, adventure, and commitment to some larger ideals in the call to arms. One of Ours is a memorable testament to the shattering effects of war on youth and ideals, a powerful depiction of mechanized battle and the war's life-changing effects on one Nebraska farm boy and the people he left behind.