The best known and most beloved work of literary pioneer Mary Austin, 1903's *The Land of Little Rain* is a collection of 14 vignettes paying poetic homage to the arid beauty of the lands of Death Valley and the Mojave. An amateur naturalist and a keen observer of human influence on the landscape, Austin here introduces us, in her inimitable way, to the wildlife, the people, and the unique problems and attractions of these sandy reaches in such essays as "The Mesa Trail," "Shoshone Land," "Water Borders," "Nurslings of the Sky," and others. The author herself believed that she had "done for the desert what Thoreau did for New England." Lovers of natural philosophy are sure to agree. American author MARY HUNTER AUSTIN (1868-1934) wrote numerous novels, poems, plays, and works of criticism, much of it centered on feminist, environmental, and multicultural issues. She is best remembered for her writing on matters concerning Native American rights and the deserts of the American Southwest.