A stirring tribute to the unique beauty of theAmerican Southwest
In the region stretching from the High Sierras south of Yosemite to the Mojave Desert, water is scarce and empty riverbeds hint at a lush landscape that has long since vanished. But the desert is far from lifeless. For those who know where to look, the “land of little rain” is awash in wonders.
In this exquisite meditation on the people, flora, and fauna of the American desert, Mary Austin introduces readers to the secret treasures of the landscape she loved above all others. Her lyrical essays profoundly influenced the work of nature writers and conservationists, among them Edward Abbey and Terry Tempest Williams, and have inspired generations of readers to visit some of the country’s most stunning national parks, including Death Valley and Joshua Tree.
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“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 was a poet, a pioneer, and a patriot.” —Terry Tempest Williams
Mary Austin (1868–1934) was an American nature writer. Born in Illinois, she was raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley, and she devoted much of her life to writing about the unique culture and landscape of the American Southwest. Her best-known work is the classic The Land of Little Rain (1903), which remains a touchstone of conservationist writing.