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The Troll Garden and Selected Stories

Willa Sibert Cather

Book Overview: 

The Troll Garden in a collection of short stories written by author Willa Cather

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .She rose and began undressing. Before she lay down she went to open the window. With her hand on the sill, she hesitated, feeling suddenly as though some danger were lurking outside, some inordinate desire waiting to spring upon her in the darkness. She stood there for a long time, gazing at the infinite sweep of the sky.

"Oh, it is all so little, so little there," she murmured. "When everything else is so dwarfed, why should one expect love to be great? Why should one try to read highly coloured suggestions into a life like that? If only I could find one thing in it all that mattered greatly, one thing that would warm me when I am alone! Will life never give me that one great moment?"

As she raised the window, she heard a sound in the plum bushes outside. It was only the house-dog roused from his sleep, but Margaret started violently and trembled so that she caught. . . Read More

Community Reviews

“The Troll Garden and Selected Stories” by Willa Cather contains some of her earliest writing. This collection includes the entirety of her 1905 collection “The Troll Garden”, along with her earliest nationally published story “On the Divide”, “Eric Hermannson’s Soul”, another very early story, “...more

“The Troll Garden” by Willa Cather contains some of her earliest writing. She had published a collection of poetry titled “April Twilights” a couple of years earlier, and there are a couple of earlier short stories which are not included in this collection, but other than that this is the earlies...more

A collection of poignant stories about arts and artists and those who love them and those who don't. One of my high-school teachers told me that Willa Cather was America's finest writer of short stories. I believe he was right.

This is Willa Cather's first book, a collection of short stories, all loosely tied to people who love the arts. A wealthy woman who runs a salon/artist colony is excoriated in print by one of her former protegees, and her "why did HE marry HER" husband proves he loves her by hiding the news from...more

It was a nice surprise to find that "The Troll Garden" was a short story collection concentrated around somewhat loosely defined theme. All of the stories involved an interaction with artists. Evidently Cather had quite an interest in the calling and self-identification of the artist as she grew...more

This is one of those books where I desperately wish I could have taken a writing class from the author. How can she take emotions and attitudes that subtle, that quiet in life lived day-by-day, and make them stand out so well without writing in an overblown, hyperbolic way? The stories are as qui...more

This is an excellent collection of short stories by a woman that I'd like to know more about. Every story in this book has to do with artists and disillusionment but not in a way that made me feel sad and unsatisfied. Willa Cather explores, as the back cover of the book says, "the devastated, rom...more

Illustrative of one of Cather's major strains in her fiction, art and artists. Some of the writing is florid reflecting the influence of Henry James, but the shift to what is best in her later writing is evident in "Paul's Case."

"The Troll Garden: Short Stories" is her earliest work of collected fiction. (She'd previously written come poetry). I'm a huge Willa Cather fan. Growing up, my favorite book was "My Antonia." I'm from Nebraska and they filmed the made-for-TV movie of "My Antonia" right across the street from my...more

This first collection of Cather's fiction is very hit-or-miss---but the hits happen to be unforgettable. "The Sculptor's Funeral," "Paul's Case," "A Wagner Matinee," and "A Death in the Desert" are the highlights, and each story centers on the pain and remorse of the "unlived life," especially fo...more

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