Picture of author.

Mary Austin (1) (1868–1934)

Author of The Land of Little Rain

For other authors named Mary Austin, see the disambiguation page.

Mary Austin (1) has been aliased into Mary Hunter Austin.

33+ Works 851 Members 16 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: Charles Fletcher Lummis

Works by Mary Austin

Works have been aliased into Mary Hunter Austin.

Associated Works

Works have been aliased into Mary Hunter Austin.

The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis (2001) — Contributor — 537 copies
American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau (2008) — Contributor — 405 copies
Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology (2002) — Contributor — 224 copies
The Vintage Book of American Women Writers (2011) — Contributor — 55 copies
An American Omnibus (1933) — Contributor — 31 copies
The Other Woman: Stories of Two Women and a Man (1993) — Contributor — 18 copies
She Won the West (1985) — Contributor — 11 copies
Adventures in the West: Stories for Young Readers (2007) — Contributor — 9 copies
The Novel of tomorrow : and the scope of fiction (2010) — Contributor — 3 copies
A Modern Galaxy: Short Stories — Contributor — 2 copies

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Other names
Austin, Mary Hunter
Birthdate
1868-09-09
Date of death
1934-08-13
Gender
female
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
Carlinville, Illinois, USA
Place of death
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Education
Blackburn College (B.A. 1888)
Occupations
Writer

Members

Reviews

 
Flagged
BruceJudd | 12 other reviews | Feb 5, 2023 |
Reading for calm relaxing moments, a beautiful and poetic set of reflections on life in the eastern Sierra Nevada and Owens Valley more than a hundred years ago.
 
Flagged
JudyGibson | 12 other reviews | Jan 26, 2023 |
Enjoyable read on the natural and cultural history or desert California. Writing style is definitely indicative of the time, and a bit stilted in parts. But easily overlooked for me due to the fascinating subject matter.
 
Flagged
Grace.Van.Moer | 12 other reviews | Nov 5, 2019 |
If you can, choose to read the 1950 edition of The Land of Little Rain. It has 48 photographs taken by Ansel Adams.

California’s sparsely populated Owens Valley is the geographic heart of this volume, a place familiar to seekers of high-altitude trips in the eastern Sierra Nevada or access to the state’s northernmost desert lands. Mary Hunter Austin lived there during the late 19th and early 20th centuries but the valley she wrote about in 1903 isn’t the same as ours. After diversion of much of its water supply to Los Angeles it couldn’t be. This gives her book even more interest, and there’s plenty to enjoy and consider, in the valley or elsewhere, as she writes of Indians, long-time Mexican residents, miners, wildlife, and natural wonders all about.

Austin’s prose has a disposition:
“Somehow the rawness of the land favors the sense of personal relations to the supernatural…All this begets…a state that passes explanation unless you will accept an explanation that passes belief…it represents the courage to sheer off what is not worth while. Beyond that it endures without sniveling, renounces without self-pity, fears no death, rates itself not too great in the scheme of things; so do beasts, so did St. Jerome in the desert, so also in the elder day did gods. Life, its performance, cessation, is no new thing to gape and wonder at.”

And while she doesn’t strain after poetic effects, sometimes it can’t be helped: “If the fine vibrations which are the golden-violet glow of spring twilights were to tremble into sound, it would be just that mellow double note [of the burrowing owl] breaking along the blossom tops.” She must enjoy her thoughts too, to write this: “Very likely if he knew how hawk and crow dog him for dinners, he would resent it. But the badger is not very well contrived for looking up or far to either side.”

Each short chapter is an individual undertaking, aware of the others but its own self entire. One or more will be a favorite, and if you’re like me each will seem to have said something new, even if just in a passing observation.
… (more)
½
 
Flagged
dypaloh | 12 other reviews | Feb 26, 2019 |

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Associated Authors

Ansel Adams Photographer
Edward Abbey Introduction
Walter Feller Photographer
E. Boyd Smith Illustrator
Melody Graulich Foreword, Afterword
Nancy Porter Afterword
Marcia Muth Foreword

Statistics

Works
33
Also by
22
Members
851
Popularity
#30,067
Rating
3.9
Reviews
16
ISBNs
163
Languages
3

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