61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Spilling the Beans,
This review is from: Holy the Firm (Paperback)
While attending Western Washington University I had the great good fortune to take a poetry class from Annie Dillard. My own poetry was abysmal and she gave me this advice, "writing is like prayer; you sit and listen for the still small voice." She had won the Pulitzer prize for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and was in the process of writing Holy the Firm while at Fairhaven College at Western. She read us the bits about the moth and the flame. This is her slenderest book, but the one in which she most takes her own advice. It's prose that reads like poetry.
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.
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Initial post: Mar 11, 2016 7:41:57 PM PST
Zane T says:
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