Writing about the Navajo people of the south-western USA, the American Nature writer Mary Hunter Austin, in her memoir The Land of Little Rain (1903), noted: “The larkspurs make the best showing … swaying a little above the shrubbery, scattering pollen dust which Navajo brides gather to fill their marriage baskets.” It’s this kind of attentiveness and this sensitivity to such a detail of Nature, and to the particulars of an Indigenous culture, that contribute to the book’s quiet power. The Land of Little Rain is a book that arguably should be better known, and its interest is sharpened by a recent ...


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