The interconnected stories of ‘’Lost Borders’’ are set in the desert landscape of southern California, where author Mary Hunter Austin moved with her mother and brothers in 1888 at the age of twenty. The ailing Austin found strength in this challenging environment, and came to regard the land as a central character in her writing.
The Books Unbound podcast presents the stories in the order of the original book, which will differ from the broadcast: “The Pocket-Hunter’s Story,” read by Frank Buczolich, with a web-extra introduction on pocket-prospecting from Austin’s first book, ‘’Land of Little Rain’’; “The Readjustment” (Katy Ratcliffe); and “Bitterness of Women” (Berklea Going, who also reads recurring fragments from the poem that appeared as the book’s epigraph). This episode’s stories show in particular Austin’s skill at balancing both sympathetic and critical perspectives on male psychology—with a frisson of the supernatural and the monstrous.
Jack Hanek hosts. Special music comes from the album River of Light (Naxos, 2011), as performed by violinist Tim Fain and pianist Pei-Yao Wang. Books Unbound is produced, written and edited by Cynthia Wolfe with assistance from Sarah Torbeck.
“‘Lost Borders’ by Mary Hunter Austin, Part Four” was produced during WFHB’s Spring Fund Drive, and contains messages from the Books Unbound community. For information on how to support this and other programs from WFHB, call 812-323-1200 or visit wfhb.org.
Executive producer: Joe Crawford
Books Unbound theme music: The Impossible Shapes