The Land of Little Rain cover

The Land of Little Rain

Mary Hunter Austin (1868-1934)

1. 01 - The Land of Little Rain
2. 02 - Water Trails of the Ceriso
3. 03 - The Scavengers
4. 04 - The Pocket Hunter
5. 05 - Shoshone Land
6. 06 - Jimville - A Bret Harte Town
7. 07 - My Neighbor's Field
8. 08 - The Mesa Trail
9. 09 - The Basket Maker
10. 10 - The Streets of the Mountains
11. 11 - Water Borders
12. 12 - Other Water Borders
13. 13 - Nurslings of the Sky
14. 14 - The Little Town of the Grape Vines

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Genres

Summary

The Land of Little Rain is a book of sketches which portray the high desert country of southern California, where the Sierras descend into the Mojave Desert. Mary Austin finds beauty in the harsh landscape: "This is the sense of the desert hills--that there is room enough and time enough. . . The treeless spaces uncramp the soul." Her story begins with the water trails that lead toward the few life giving springs--the way marked for men by ancient Indian pictographs. Life and death play out at these springs. Rabbits fall prey to the coyote; buzzards hang heavily in the sky above. She then writes of individuals who eke out their living in this land of scarce resources--an itinerant gold prospector, a sheepherder, a blind Indian basket maker. Austin's spare prose creates unforgettable vignettes: "Choose a hill country for storms. . . I remember one night of thunderous rain made unendurably mournful by the houseless cry of a cougar whose lair, and perhaps his family, had been buried under a slide of broken boulders . . ." Anyone who sees beauty in the Southwestern deserts, or who just enjoys good nature writing, will savor The Land of Little Rain. (