Willa Cather and the American Outsider Experience: Background information when reading Win Me Something

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Win Me Something

by Kyle Lucia Wu

Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu X
Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu
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  • Paperback:
    Nov 2021, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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About this Book

Willa Cather and the American Outsider Experience

This article relates to Win Me Something

Black and white photograph of Willa CatherWilla Chen, the main character in Kyle Lucia Wu's Win Me Something, mentions that her mother named her after the writer Willa Cather. This connection is significant in that Willa expects to be asked about her name in the context of her Chinese heritage, and is surprised when her employer's brother asks about the origin of her first name instead of her last. It is also significant in that Cather, now considered a quintessentially American writer, wrote stories about immigrants and characters who feel like outsiders in American society, as Willa often feels. As author David Burr Gerrard says in a blurb for the book, "Like a latter-day Willa Cather, after whom her protagonist is named, Kyle Lucia Wu has written a beautiful novel about a fiercely American young woman whose Americanness is constantly questioned by those around her."

Cather, who was born in 1873 in Virginia, moved to Nebraska with her family when she was nine years old. Her subsequent experiences growing up in the Great ...

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