A ruined beauty whose dignity has suffered a lifetime of loss and disenchantment. A Czech immigrant who finds a paradoxical contentment on the harsh expanse of the Nebraska prairie. A solitary young painter spying raptly and guiltily on his exquisite neighbor. These are some of the lives that Willa Cather renders, with a fine balance of compassion and detachment, in these nineteen stories. Here are the great themes that Cather staked out like tracts of land: the plight of people hungry for beauty in a country that has no room for it; the mysterious arc of human lives; the ways in which the American frontier transformed the strangers who came to it, turning them imperceptibly into Americans.