Mary Austin's love of the desert is everywhere evident in The Land of Little Rain, a collection of fourteen vignettes about the land and people of the region that today includes Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. Part nature essay, personal essay, folk legend, and local history of the California Sierras, this enduring American classic resists classification. Her lyrical observations are infused with a deep understanding of the flora and fauna of the area and an appreciation of the people she encountered and befriended there-Shoshones and Paiutes, Mexican and Chinese immigrants, shepherds, stagecoach drivers, and miners among them. Austin's writings have been compared to the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, and Aldo Leopard, but her poetic sensibility is purely original, winsome, and entirely her own. This Warbler Classics paperback includes the illustrations that appeared in the original edition and a detailed biographical note.
"Mary Austin is a 'future' person-one who will a century from now appear as a writer of major stature in the complex matrix of American culture."-Ansel Adams
"She made the land a permanent part of herself and, in this small, tender, old-fashioned, and engaging book, a part of the basic literature of American nature writing."-Edward Abbey
Mary Austin (1868-1934) was a prolific American novelist, playwright, essayist, and critic. Her best-known work, The Land of Little Rain, was an immediate success upon publication and launched Austin's thirty-year writing career. In addition to making a special study of life in the Mojave Desert, Austin was also an early advocate of women's rights, a protector of the environment, and a champion of Native American and Mexican American rights. In all, she produced more than thirty books and two hundred and fifty articles by the time of her death in 1934.