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In the first place, let me tell you how delighted I am that you get a thrill out of
the story4, and in the second, let me tell you how
I lament the costom of publishing photographs
o of authorines.
I meant to read "Men of Iron."5 The publishers sent me
a photograph of the author6; fat woman with no
neckneck,, big stupid
face set on her shoulders. I'll never read it. Now, if I have a prejudice against
her type of face, mayn't hundreds of people perfectly well have a prejudice against
mine? I can see it, for actresses and singers; but authorines, for the most par part, possess countenances that do but discourage
one with thei their wares.
If I had some good pictures taken down in the Cliff
Dweller cities7, I could see that they might suggest a breeze to the
onlooker. But I have only those you saw. The one you have repro
well. I'm going to the big cliff ruins8 down
at Durango, Colorado9, late this summer, and
could have some taken, but that would be rather late for you, wouldn't it?
Now, in the meantime, do you want me to go to Dupont10 and strive for as good a conventional picture as possible, or
FIVE BANK STREETyou wish me to have Underwood and Underwood11 sleuth me to the Park and take me feeding
squirrels or dongdoing folk–dances? How can an informal picture be
interesting, unless it is taken in an in interesting
place? I have some rather good ones take that
were tof me and
Fremstad12, that were taken up in
with last summer ,; but those, of
course, I couldn't let you have, unless I
died; then you could come and ta
Tell me what you want me to do, and I'll be as compliant as possible. Myself, I think the public prefers to think that auth–orines are tall, slender, and nineteen years of age.Cordially yours Willa S. Cather
I hope you will put something like the enclosed slip on the jacket of the book. I think a jacket ought to announce interesting subject matter, where there is any to be announced. I thought the jacket of "Sinister Street"14 interesting—it promised a long sight more than the book delivered, but it made me buy the volume.