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#0218: Willa Cather to Zoë Akins, March 14, 1912

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And now, by a fate perverse, both copies4 of your book5 arrive at once—but a day apart indeed. But I am glad that the first one wandered about so long if its tardiness brought me the the second, with lovely lines of verse writ in it all for me. You1 have always been a dear girl to me, and I have sometimes been cross because I was so tired; so awfully tired! You don't know how crushing office work can be, unless you have been crushed by it. I am not going back to the office now until September, and I shall never permit myself to be ground up so fine in the mill again. In the meantime, I shall be riding horseback in Arizona6.

Now about "Interpretations." Somehow I like the very best the "City & Country"7. I know scarcely anything with so much feeling about New York8 in it, though there is so little description whatever. Then, too, I like "Where Joy Passed By"9 and "Ask Me No More"10, and the verses11 on Swinburne12. The Circe13 one has a haunting music about it. I do think the whole collection a most unusual first book, if only because there is so much real tunefulness in it. I think Miss Marlowe14 ought to be very proud of it15.

Yes, aren't the pictures16 for "Alexander"17 dis-gust-ing!! The book,18 coming from Miss McCracken19's shop will be in much better style. Do like Bartley20 if you can, and the next story, "The Bohemian Girl"21, which McClure22 will publish this summer. It is much better than Alexander, I think, and you will like it better; though I fear me, alas, that not many people will like it so well.

With a flood of thanks to you and with much pride in you

Faithfully Willa Sibert Cather