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Holy the Firm Paperback – December 30, 1998
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In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited. But spirited young Madlen can't resist her gift for healing, even if it puts her life in danger. Learn More
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About the Author
Annie Dillard has written twelve books,including in nonfiction For the Time Being, Teaching a Stone to Talk, Holy the Firm, and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not to say that Dillard is all gloom-and-doom. Many of her lines are extremely witty and can make you burst out laughing with her insight and sardonic humor.
Either she clicks with you or she doesn't. But for those of us with whom she does, Dillard is wonderful.
This is a book that makes me think that everything else I've ever read was only approximate use of language to convey some idea. In this book it seems like every word is carefully chosen, as if it comes from some place of meditation, of listening to a still small voice. It's a very human book, for all the sparks of the divine. By another accident I heard her read from it at the University of Washington. The final passage seemed to rise to a climax and hang in the air. No one spoke, no one left. It was one of those magical moments. Holy the Firm is all one piece and can be read through in one sitting as one experience. It's very much a writer's book, and I see most of the reviews are by writers finding some echo in a fellow writer. Some reviewers have put much better than I what it's about. I merely suggest that Dillardians (and other readers) may enjoy this oft-overlooked book.
In this book, Annie discusses God. She is confused by the way in which random events that hurt and injure seem to be disconnected with the way in which we would like to live. If these random and terrible events take place, without willful malice; then how could it happen that God would let such terrible things occur?
She describes a day in her life. In that day there is a young girl visiting, to whom she is attracted and vice versa. They have a chemistry that brings them within each other's spheres. This beautiful girl becomes the casualty of an airplane crash. No one else is hurt. No one is dead. But this girl for a random reason, is hit with a globule of flaming kerosene, and her face is totally burned away.
This anomaly is the framework of the book. She could have chosen 1000 other examples that set up this question. But she chose this one of the girl, one that could be personal not just to her; but also to her readers. She reminds us that there is no everyday, omnipresent God directing things. And there is no way to figure out these random events. There are only DAYS. And those days are filled with things that we do or don't do. There is no God that will directly intervene and tell us what to do, or save us. He is as ruthless as he is merciful. His form, however, is quite another story. His form is spiritual, not worldly, and not mundane. And we must remember that we control most of the things in our lives directly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would have this book for the essay "God's Tooth" if for nothing else.Published 3 months ago by Anne Caston
I recently discovered Anne Dillard. What a find! She is my new favorite author. I must admit she must have a comma shake next to the keyboard because a sentence can run on for... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Bud Walther
After her first book of prose, "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," won the acclaim of critics and the Pulitzer Prize, Annie Dillard moved across the country to a place where she could... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Aletheia Knights
I bought this as a NEW book. It arrived with notations and under lines....completely NOT new. Very disappointed in the condition of the book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Carol Magill
This small book is pretty heady and not for the faint at heart. Dillard writes of nature and theology beyond our imaginings.
Beautifully written as is most all her work.
Truly a wonderful meditation on why the innocent who suffer are touched by God! This short book is worth twenty volumes devoted to philosophy or theology. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Paris Emerson