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Cactus Thorn: (A Novella) (Western Literature and Fiction Series)

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9780874172539: Cactus Thorn: (A Novella) (Western Literature and Fiction Series)
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Set primarily in the lonesome southwest desert lands of the 1920s, this previously unpublished novella is a powerful story in which landscape reflects and defines character. In this beautifully written tale, a promising young politician, Grant Arliss, flees from his complicated and pressure-ridden life in New York City to the serenity of the desert's open spaces, finding a love and a landscape that will change his life.

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About the Author:
Mary Austin (1868-1934) wrote more than 30 books during her career, including Land of Little Rain (1903) and Lost Borders (1909). Born in Carlinsville, Illinois, Mary Austin eventually ventured west with her brother and widowed mother to homestead in California. Throughout her essays, poems, plays, and stories, she focused on environmental issues and the relationship between individual experience and cultural histories.
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Formal in its dialogue, passionate and romantic in its evocation of the Southwest, where the central action takes place, this slender novella is at heart a feminist tract. The boy-meets-girl openinghe, Grant Arliss, a socialist politician from New York, she, Dulcie Adelaid, as skilled as an Indian in tracking the desert where she was raisedpromises a happy ending. But subtle clues signal otherwise: the eponymous cactus thorn, a tiny dagger with which Dulcie kills a snake rearing toward Grant, and Dulcie's conviction that one must act according to one's beliefbeliefs that she thinks Grant's socialism espouses and that his own life should reflect. The splendor of the desert and of their love for each other is disturbed when a drunken man appears and demands to see Dulcie. Grant sends him, through a murderous sandstorm, in the wrong direction; later, Dulcie reveals that he is her husband. Events then careen wildly to the shocking and yet logicalwithin its feminist ideology resolution. Written in 1927 and never before published, the story is timeless in setting and moral tone. Like Austin's other novels ( Earth Horizon , Land of Little Rain ), it is a powerful enactment of a woman's need to choose between a man and the land she loves.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780874171358: Cactus Thorn (Western Literature Series)

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Publisher: Univ of Nevada Pr, 1988
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