A novelist and short-story writer, Willa Cather is today widely regarded as one of the foremost American authors of the twentieth century. Particularly renowned for the memorable women she created for such works as My Ántonia and O Pioneers!, she pens the portrait of another formidable character in The Song of the Lark. This, her third novel, traces the struggle of the woman as artist in an era when a women's role was far more rigidly defined than it is today. The prototype for the main character as a child and adolescent was Cather herself, while a leading Wagnerian soprano at the Metropolitan Opera (Olive Fremstad) became the model for Thea Kronborg, the singer who defies the limitations placed on women of her time and social station to become an international opera star. A coming-of-age novel, important for the issues of gender and class that it explores, The Song of the Lark is one of Cather's most popular and lyrical works.