Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mary Hunter Austin  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: September 9, 1868 in Carlinville, Illinois

Died: 1934, Sante Fe, New Mexico

-- Mary Hunter Austin on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Austin was born in Carlinville and lived there until she graduated from Blackburn College in 1888. It was at that time, she moved with her family to California.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mary Hunter Austin was a prolific novelist, poet, critic, and playwright. She was one of the early nature writers of the American Southwest, her classic The Land of Little Rain (1903) describes the fauna, flora and people – as well as evoking the mysticism and spirituality – of the region between the High Sierra and the Mojave Desert of southern California.

In 1929, while living in New Mexico, Austin co-authored a book with photographer Ansel Adams. Published a year later, the book, Taos Pueblo, was printed in a limited edition of only 108 copies. It is now quite rare because it included actual photographs made by Adams rather than reproductions.

Mount Mary Austin, in the Sierra Nevada, was named in her honor.

Selected Titles At Your Library

A woman of genius /
ISBN: 0405100434. OCLC Number: 2983681

Arno Press,. .

Arrow-maker :
ISBN: 0404004199. OCLC Number: 232237796

Ams Press,. .

Earth horizon :
ISBN: 0826313167. OCLC Number: 23767266

University of New Mexico Press,. .

ISBN: 1230248447. OCLC Number: 923416444

Theclassics Us,. .

Stories from the country of Lost borders
ISBN: 0813512174. OCLC Number: 14413969

Rutgers University Press,. .

In The Land of Little Rain, Austin's attention to natural detail allows her to write prose that is geographically, biologically, and botanically accurate at the same time that it offers metaphorical insight into human emotional and spiritual experience. In Lost Borders, Austin focuses on both white and Indian women's experiences in the desert, looks for the sources of their deprivation, and finds them in the ways life betrays them, usually in the guise of men. She offers several portraits of strong women characters but ultimately identifies herself with the desert, which she personifies as a woman.

The Arrow-Maker A Drama in Three Acts
ISBN: 3847216589. OCLC Number: 864118263

tredition. .

The flock /
ISBN: 0874173558. OCLC Number: 182987084

University of Nevada Press,. .

Woman of genius.
ISBN: 1290277389. OCLC Number: 940516773

Hardpress Publishing,. .

Writing the Western landscape
ISBN: 080708526X. OCLC Number: 30026288

Beacon Press,. .

The early twentieth-century works of Mary Austin and John Muir are nature-writing classics. Midwesterners by birth, Austin and Muir both adopted the American West as their home and wrote about its grand and wild landscapes in ways that came to define the genre of western nature writing. Here, for the first time in a single volume, are excerpts from both writers' work: Austin's Earth Horizon and The Land of Journeys' Ending and Muir's The Grand Canon of the Colorado and Travels in Alaska. An introduction by Ann Zwinger provides literary analysis and biographical context and explores the two writers' influence on a tradition of western nature writing that continues today.