Literature Study GuidesThe Land Of Little Rain

The Land of Little Rain | Study Guide

Mary Hunter Austin

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Course Hero. "The Land of Little Rain Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 Jan. 2019. Web. 5 June 2020. <>.

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Course Hero. "The Land of Little Rain Study Guide." January 13, 2019. Accessed June 5, 2020.


Course Hero, "The Land of Little Rain Study Guide," January 13, 2019, accessed June 5, 2020,



Mary Hunter Austin

Year Published





Nature, Nonfiction

At a Glance

Mary Austin's naturalist tome The Land of Little Rain blends environmental, spiritual, and political writing that feels markedly ahead of its time in its concerns. Austin once claimed that she wrote the book in less than a month. However, she said it took her 12 years to study the land and its people in order to become intimate with them. No one had written of the California region that is her focus, from the Sierra Nevada to the Mojave Desert, in such a way before Austin. She meticulously documented its flora, fauna, and geology with a poetic and spiritual flourish. The book's impact has been long lasting on the legacy of environmental writing. Austin also offers a unique lens from the time as a woman who was sympathetic to the rights of local Native Americans.

About the Title

The Land of Little Rain refers to the landscape and geography Mary Austin writes about in her book. This is the area of the California deserts of Death Valley and the Mojave to the high Sierras east of Yosemite. It is a region where rain is infrequent and where its inhabitants must learn to understand the land.


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