Salon.com writer Meghan Daum gives a tour of Nebraska through its best-known authors, including (of course) Willa Cather. The excerpt is her take on Cather's hometown of Red Cloud.
"No literary tour of Nebraska is complete (or possible) without a stop in Red Cloud, just a few miles from the Kansas border. This town is tiny, but, as Willa Cather's home and geographical muse, it's a very big deal to bookish Cornhuskers. Cather fled Nebraska after college, and from the looks of this town—the population is around 1,000 and falling—it's clear she wasn't the last one out. But Red Cloud has retained much of its historical and architectural integrity thanks to the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation, which provides tours of buildings connected to her work as well as access to archives. There's also a municipal pool here, which, though it was never graced by Cather's inflatable chair, is a must-visit if you come in the summer, where the heat can cause hallucinations of sod houses and grasshopper storms. Oh, wait... maybe that's not a hallucination."