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B o o k r e v i e w s 2 0 7 postcolonial author. Also, the collection does not address more contempo­ rary theoretical issues, such as radical feminism, ecocriticism, ecofeminism or post-Marxist perspectives on Laurence’s work, as these are outside the collection’s scope and intent. For a baseline of scholarly understanding of Margaret Laurence’s work, New Perspectives is indeed a cornerstone addition for U .S. scholars. Its most practical use is for scholar-teachers who are considering integrating Laurence into their classrooms and are looking for a variety of perspectives on Laurence’s work to introduce to their students. For those interested in further study, Coger includes an extremely helpful selected bibliography. A M ary A ustin Reader. Edited by Esther F. Lanigan. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996. 271 pages, $40.00/$ 16.95. Reviewed by Chad Rohman Bowling Green State University In her recent anthology, A Mary Austin Reader, Esther F. Lanigan’s edi­ torial approach is to give readers “the original Mary Austin as faithfully as possible” and to “better acquaint the ‘common reader’ with this extraordi­ nary American writer’s work.” Certainly, Lanigan’s collection achieves both of these goals, providing both scholars and general readers with an ample and useful selection of Austin’s “prodigious,” diverse, and in some cases, recently inaccessible, unknown, or ignored works. Portions of the following Austin works appear in this collection: The Land of Little Rain, Lost Borders, The Flock, Earth Horizon (Austin’s autobi­ ography), Starry Adventure, The Land of Journeys’ Ending, and Taos Pueblo, as well as a sampling of Austin’s various poems, journal articles, and a short excerpt from her recently discovered novella, Cactus Thom. While avid Austin readers may disagree with some of Lanigan’s selections (as with her omission of Austin’s 1912 novel, A Woman of Genius— an editorial decision which she explains in her general introduction), such arguments seem triv­ ial considering her intent to show Austin’s range as a writer and her desire to “accommodate readers coming to Austin for the first time” with a repre­ sentative sampling of the author’s work. Part of the appeal of Lanigan’s anthology is its reader-oriented layout, which is organized by genre and which includes eleven main chapters, a general introduction, and individual section introductions. Lanigan’s edito­ rial comments are concise and useful, and her minimal apparatus makes the book very accessible. Lanigan’s textual notes are neither extensive nor over­ whelming, and they, combined with a substantial bibliography of primary and secondary texts, provide a helpful resource for any reader wishing to pursue further study of Mary Austin. Finally, Lanigan’s decision to include a selection of Austin photographs throughout the edition is a nice touch, pro­ viding readers an intimate look at Austin in her writing environment. WAL 3 3 ( 2 ) SUMMER 1 9 9 8 Lanigan, who is the author of the definitive Austin biography, Mary Austin: Song of a Maverick (1989), succeeds in her attempt to “faithfully” present Mary Austin as a significant and unique female writer of the American West. It is noteworthy, for instance, that Lanigan honestly and consistently confronts and reconsiders accusations of Austin’s occasional “Anglo-American cultural superiority” in her writings. For this and for her ability to bring to the reader various Austin works which have been previ­ ously unavailable, Lanigan should be applauded. Lanigan states in her general introduction that she hopes readers will have the opportunity to feel “some of the excitement [she] felt when [she] first read Mary Austin.” A Mary Austin Reader does much to help readers access the “exciting,” relevant, and significant works of Mary Austin. Beyond Borders: The Selected Essays of Mary Austin. Edited with an introduction by Reuben J. Ellis. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1996. 147 pages, $24.95. Reviewed by M ark Schlenz University of California, Santa Barbara Reuben J. Ellis has provided a tremendous service to long-dedicated scholars of Austin’s prodigious oeuvre as well as to those more recently encountering her work. Reading through Austin’s volumes of fiction alone presents a challenging scholarly task, to say nothing of adding to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 207-208
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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