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Three by Annie Dillard: The Writing Life, An American Childhood, Pilgrim… (1990)

de Annie Dillard

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A stunning collection of Annie Dillard's most popular books in one volume.
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As my LibraryThing bookshelf demonstrates, I'm a fan of Dillard. I have multiple copies of each of the books contained in this particular collectioin, all of them high on my list of favorites. "Pilgrim" is the prize winner here, always leaving me to wonder how in the world an author ever produces another thing after achieving such acclaim so early in both life and vocation. But Dillard did, of course.

As an aspiring writer, "The Writing Life" is one I pick up whenever I feel the need for a good, stiff lecture on the subject. A reality check as to what it really means to follow such a pursuit.

But my favorite of these three, and perhaps one of the author's friendlier (i.e. "easier") books to get through is "An American Childhood". A wonderful memoir, rich in imagery and filled with the type of inspirational stories that only come during this time of our respective lives. ( )
  bookem | Mar 8, 2007 |
I went looking for An American Childhood because it was on a list of well known memoirs, and I find I enjoy most something written in the first person, but I picked up the Three. At first I found Pilgrim at Tinker Creek tedious. Wasn't sure where it was going, just observations about nature. But bit by bit it drew me in. I know I'm just one small being in an infinite world, but reading about how brief life is for many beings, the perils of parasites looking to feed on us and other observations, brought that home in a way that made it a part of my life. Dillard gave that commonplace though substance. I recall reading Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in high school where Douglas Adams pointed out that anyone who really understood their place in the universe would go mad, and the Woody Allen movie where the young boy doesn't want to do his homework because the universe is expanding. And I guess initially, my only thought was how little meaning there is to life. My life is not so different from the hundreds of insects that hatch and get eaten on their first day of life. But looking death in the face, and remembering how brief life is, has given me a sense of calmness and strength to face the world. Time will go soon enough. Make the best of what you have. Don't worry about the future, the past matters not one bit. Don't be limited by the past, don't be weighed down by the future stretching out of sight before you.

And I did enjoy An American Childhood. ( )
1 vota pedestrian | Nov 23, 2006 |
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A stunning collection of Annie Dillard's most popular books in one volume.

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