2011 Reprint of 1918 Edition. "My Ántonia" was enthusiastically received in 1918 when it was first published. It was considered a masterpiece and placed Cather in the forefront of women novelists. Today it is considered her first masterpiece. Cather was praised for bringing the American West to life in her fiction and for making it personally engaging for the reader. It also served to promote regional American literature as an important part of mainstream literature. While interpretations vary, "My Ántonia" is clearly an elegy to those families who built new lives west of the Mississippi River and highlights the role of women pioneers in particular. Cather also makes a number of comments concerning her views on women's rights and some interpreters have suggested the use of disguised sexual metaphors in the text. It remains a classic text in American literature.