The pioneering feminist author who first acquainted America with its deserts in Land of Little Rain
Opinionated and widely regarded as a genius, Mary Austin was a member of the literary elite, counting presidents and famous writers as friends, and yet her writings are most often down to earth. Whether chronicling the unforgiving, yet inspiring desert in The Land of Little Rain, translating California Indian tales, or describing the behavior of San Franciscans during an earthquake, Austin’s writings were always rooted in place, capturing the spirit of California with purity and grace. In language that is as lush as the Mojave after the spring rains and as precise as the sheep-shearer’s art, Mary Austin’s writing is forever fresh.
Kevin Hearle is a sixth-generation Californian from Santa Ana. He has written extensively on John Steinbeck and is the voice of “Our California Legacy”—a public radio program on KAZU-FM in Santa Clara. He is the author of Each Thing We Know Is Changed Because We Know It and Other Poems.