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Don’t Imitate New York

October 29, 1921 — Dinner in her honor, Nebraska League of Women Voters, Brandeis Tea Room, Omaha NE


It seems to me as I travel out through the great middle west, the people are trying to imitate New York. Red Cloud and Hastings are trying to be like Omaha; Omaha and Chicago are trying to be like New York. One thing I like about New York is that there we wear the kinds of hats we like, we wear the kind of clothes that please us.

I wish that I could see across the continent a string of cities having their own particular kind of life, as the cities of the old world. Does Marseilles try to be like Paris? Does Bordeaux try to be like Paris? Do Venice and Naples try to be like Rome? The people of Bordeaux are proud of their own dinner hour. They are proud of their own cooking.



Source: Willa Cather in Person: Interviews, Speeches, and Letters, ed. L. Brent Bohlke (Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press), 1986.


Also: Omaha World-Herald, 30 October 1921.


Also: Omaha World-Herald, November 1921.