Nella Braddy (1894–1973), a pioneer among female editors, compiled this seven-story collection and published Masterpieces of Adventure: Stories of Desert Places in 1922. It features seven authors: Egerton Castle, Stephen Crane, Selma Lagerlöf, Bret Harte, Thomas Hardy, O. Henry, and W. H. Hudson. It’s a stellar group.Braddy went on to write and edit more articles and books, including two more in the Masterpieces of Adventure series, one focused on Helen Keller’s breakthrough teacher, Anna Sullivan Macy, and a biography of Rudyard Kipling.Once inside Stories of Desert Places, though, listeners will soon realize that Braddy treats the idea of “desert” very loosely. Perhaps it’s about what’s in a protagonist’s mind or heart, rather than the actual setting of the story that Braddy felt evoked the idea of “desert.”It’s left to us to find the “desert”—physical or metaphorical—of an eastern European castle on a snowy night, somewhere in the American West, Norway, early day California, a rainy night in England, in Texas near the Rio Grande, and Argentina. In these stories, people strive, often foolishly, and yet they persevere in unexpected ways.