#1700: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, February 26, 1945

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FG ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear Mr. Greenslet1:

Within a few days you will receive the package of manuscript which you sent me3 some time ago,- unread and unopened. If you asked me, as a personal favor, to read almost any other manuscript, I would manage to oblige you. But I am now working hard at something which interests me very much, and I find it bothers me and makes me uncomfortably self-conscious to have this bunch of manuscript lying about. If Isabelle McClung4 were still living , I would ask her to read it for me. She would be the best person to do so.

This young woman5's information about me would probably come from Professor Foerster6's recollections. I have never seen Professor Foerster since his first year in high school7, when I was twenty-four years old and Professor Foerster was probably fifteen. He was an intelligent boy and I liked him, but he was not, naturally, , at that time, a mature observer. At that time I was very busy. I had high school classes from nine o'clock in the morning until four in the afternoon, and I spent two hours every evening, from eight to ten, working on the volume of short stories which Mr. McClure8 afterward published under the title,"The Troll Garden"9. I was then living in Judge McClung10's house11, 780 Murray Hill Avenue, Pittsburgh12, and Isabelle's kindness made this double shift of work possible.

I think these most books about writers who are still living are a mistake. A few weeks ago someone called my attention to a short sketch of me in the Fourteenth Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica13. It is short, but it seems to me fair and sufficient14.

I hate to bother you about sending this manuscript back, but I find it does bother me and "crimp my style", as the saying is.

Faithfully yours,Willa Cather