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Three by Annie Dillard: The Writing Life, An American Childhood, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Paperback – November 21, 1990
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About the Author
Annie Dillard, winner of a 2014 National Humanities Medal, is the author of many works of nonfiction, including An American Childhood and Teaching a Stone to Talk, as well as the novels The Living and The Maytrees.
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Top Customer Reviews
Annie Dillard moved to Tinker Creek, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, in her mid-twenties (or, at any rate, this book achieved final published form when she was twenty-nine). Like Thoreau, she came to the woods to "keep a meteorological journal of the mind". Indeed, "Walden" is the model: a person of reflective tendency steps out of the stream of life, as it were, to go to the woods, just to see what he or she can see. It turns out that one's own mind is a large part of the scenery when one gets away from the rough-and-tumble of society. Big mysteries are at stake here; it is somehow appropriate that looking with all attention at minute creatures and giving oneself over momentarily to ephemeral events provide clues. Why is nature cruel? Why is there beauty? Could these be related?
I put it baldly, but these and other questions are more the expression on her writing's face than the subject of it. There are details, and funny descriptions, and a rifling through the wonders of her library of naturalists. But, always, there is a person doing all this: walking, having a sandwich, creeping up on a copperhead for a closer look (after patting her pocket to make sure the snakebite kit is there), or just lying in bed remembering a horrifying or glorious experience of that particular day, in the woods, on the banks of Tinker Creek.
Have I mentioned the quality of the writing? It's glorious.Read more ›
chapter five or six. It creeps in, slowly taking over the positive images and feelings, until you finally find that you are reading about children abusing newts in a state park, or caterpillars walking in the same circle around the same vase for seven full days, because their leader was taken away without their knowledge. Death is a reoccurring theme here. A main question in my class was what happened to make her change styles? Was it planned, or was it the effect of some event--the death of a friend or loved one perhaps? Either way, we read on through the spring and summer, and into the fall. She leads us into a flood, where she says, "I like crossing the dam. If I fall, I might not get up again...I face this threat every time I cross the dam, and it is always exhilarating.Read more ›
|Length: 3:01 Mins|
The footage in the video is obviously not from Tinker Creek, but from my own "backyard" and surrounding areas in Saint Petersburg, Florida. I captured the images using the new Flip Ultra Video Camcorder, and edited them using Apple's iMovie. The music (perhaps a bit cheesy) was composed using samples from Apple's GarageBand software. All quotations are from Dillard's book. Enjoy!
This is a good book to keep on your bedside table and read in 50-page spurts between reading other books. It lends itself to thoughtful musing and shouldn�t be raced through at one long reading. Colorful anecdotes (about such things as the sexual habits of the praying mantis) are interspersed with questioning our ability to stay truly within the moment, to achieve ultimate awareness of our surroundings.
Dillard, a consummate writer�s writer, can be both romantic and irreverent. She rhapsodizes at one moment, then at the next writes, �Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly; insects, it seems, gotta do one horrible thing after another.�
You gotta love it. And if you do, you gotta go right out and buy An American Childhood, an absolutely wonderful memoir of her youth in � get this! � Pittsburg. It�s living proof that a really good writer can make a stunning memoir out of a pretty mundane childhood.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sorry, perhaps I was just not in the mood for nature essays...but when I am reading for pleasure I really want a plot... none to be found in the first chapter so I exited.Published 23 days ago by anonymouse
Yes, this is a different read, but that is part of the fun. Only part I didn't like was about the snake-hate snakes - just a few pages, not a major part of the text. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ron
Can you say you've read a book if you haven't finished it? I've read a third of this pretentious volume and know: (1) I'll never be able to finish it, and (2) I'll never again... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kem White
Great read for anyone who likes poetry and nature. Another good read by Annie Dillard is Living like Weasels.Published 1 month ago by Becky
We've all thought about the seeming cruelty we see constantly in nature. She describes it. And she puts sense, even with a loving God, behind it.Published 2 months ago by ford brewer
I read this book in short spurts, more like a meditation. I enjoyed it very much but preferred to ponder it in small doses. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Durbala
I did not finish it because I found it boring. A Thoreau want-a-be. I love the way she loves nature as do I, but don't care for her writing style.Published 2 months ago by Charlie D.