The subtitle is important in defining the scope of this biography, for its value lies almost wholly in the perceptive interanalysis of Willa Cather's life and work. Almost one might say step by step, contact by contact, pervading mood and emotional response have been reflected, according to her biographer, in her writing. The factual outline of her life is based on material supplied by Miss Lewis, friend of a lifetime (see report below), but somehow remains a factual outline, never taking on the breath of life. Interviews with other people who knew her fail, somehow, to spark the text. Viewed, however, from the angle of a critical study of Willa Cather, the artist and interpreter of American life at many levels, this book will stand high in such annals. For anyone familiar with Willa Cather's work,- short stories, poetry, novels, it provides intimate and revealing interpretation, reintroduction to the characters and their motivation, light on the sources of inspiration, sensitive criticism.