Nanette: An Aside

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"Nanette: An Aside" is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in Courier on 31 July 1897 and one month later in Home Monthly.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

As they are soon to leave America, Nanette tells Madame Traduttori she does not want to leave because she has fallen in love with Signor Luongo, who wants to marry her. He will not let her travel around the world, which she does with Madame. A little while later, Madame says she agrees to let her go on with her new life.


  • Nanette, Madame Tradutorri's maid. Her mother was an opera singer with Madame Traduttori when they were both younger but she wasn't successful and died in a charity hospital.
  • Madame Tradutorri, an opera singer. She is gnawed by her sadness. Her husband lives in Monte Carlo and her daughter is crippled and lives in a convent in Italy.
  • Signor Luongo, a head waiter.

Allusions to other works[edit]

Literary significance and criticism[edit]

Nanette: An Aside was later rewritten as A Singer's Romance,[2] though with a different stance.

It was the first instance of the opera singer in her fiction.[3] It was also partly based on Cather's life, as she had just written a letter to a friend about how marriage would force her to relinquish her art.[4]


  1. ^ Sheryl L. Meyering, A Reader's Guide to the Short Stories of Willa Cather, G.K. Hall & Co, 1995, p. 139
  2. ^ Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction, University of Nebraska Press; Rev Ed edition, 1 Nov 1970, 'Introduction' by Mildred R. Bennett, page xxix
  3. ^ James Leslie Woodress, Willa Cather - A Literary Life, University of Nebraska Press, 1989, p. 139
  4. ^ Mildred Bennett,Early Stories of Willa Cather, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1957, p. 101

External links[edit]