Earth Horizon: An Autobiography

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9780826313164: Earth Horizon: An Autobiography
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About the Author:

Mary Austin (nee Hunter) was born in Carlinville, Illinois in 1868 and died in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1934. After graduation from Blackburn College, she moved with her family to California. She later spent time in New York and eventually settled in Santa Fe. A prolific writer, she wrote novels, short stories, essays, plays and poetry. Austin became an early advocate for environmental issues as well as the rights of women and other minority groups. She was particularly interested in the preservation of American Indian culture. Other books by Mary Austin published by Sunstone Press in its Southwest Heritage Series include The Land of Little Rain, The Land of Journeys' Ending, and The American Rhythm.

Review:

''Mary Austin's extraordinary sense of scene is even more apparent in her autobiography, Earth Horizon, than it is in her earlier works. This quality gives to her book a breadth, and to her reader an understanding of motives that is commonly lacking in autobiographies. By emphasizing the life patterns surrounding the characters in her novels, Mrs. Austin manages to explain their smaller, individual patterns. She has used the same technique in telling the story of her own life. This gives to it very much the same appeal that we found as a child when we listened by the hour to what was known as 'truth stories.' The reader never forgets that the story is factual, but it has fictional qualities that add zest to the reading. This quality also gives to the volume a greater significance that could be attached to the life of a single person, no matter how important.

Mrs. Austin's life has moved through much of the American scene. In telling of her development she shows the growth of a people. It is the story of a trail blazer, both geographically and intellectually. Her picture of the middle west is epic in its proportions. She was in Southern California when it was in the building. She was an advance agent for the, as yet infant, folk theatre. Her activities in New Mexico have been of tremendous importance in Mrs. Austin's career and will without doubt prove quite as important to the state, but in the telling they appear more loosely knit than many other episodes and consequently fail to hold the reader in quite so firm a grip.

Through the pages of the volume there pass the living figures of some of the most widely known men and women of this day. One that is of particular interest because of the recent election is Herbert Hoover. Mrs. Austin knew him, talked and planned with him in London, California and Washington. She gives sidelights on his character during several stages of his career; when he was a business man, during the war, as a candidate and as president. Numerous family incidents crop up in the book for which we can see no excuse, unless it is to relieve the author of a burden, on the same principle that one goes to a confessor or a psychoanalyst. In writing in the third person Mrs. Austin has introduced a method that is decidedly unusual in autobiographies. At first this is a little confusing. Later it adds to the novel-like flavor of the book. We believe Earth Horizon will be ranked high among the autobiographies of recent times.'' ----Withers Woolford, ''Southwest Bookshelf,'' New Mexico Magazine

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780865345393: Earth Horizon (Southwest Heritage Series)

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ISBN 10:  0865345392 ISBN 13:  9780865345393
Publisher: Sunstone Press, 2007
Softcover

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