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In the stories that comprise The Troll Garden, her first book, Willa Cather evokes the devastated, romantic dreams that haunt her characters. Artists, inveterate sentimentalists, hungering beauties, and demon-ridden ascetics find themselves torn between the need to confess and keep secret their private aspirations. Involved with the hope that destroys the spirit, their lives reflect both the impoverished materialism and the deadly idealism of the Plains country, of the fashionable East, and of London at the turn of the century.