Modern American Memoirs

      Annie Dillard
Modern American Memoirs

In Modern American Memoirs, two very discerning writers and readers have selected samples from 35 of the finest memoirs written in this century, including contributions by such diverse writers as Margaret Mead, Malcolm X, Maxine Hong Kingston, Loren Eisely, and Zora Neale Hurston. Chosen for their value as excellent examples of the art of biography as well as for their superb writing, the excerpts present a broad range of American life, and offer vivid insight into the real-life events that shaped their authors. Here, readers can learn about the time when Harry Crews, playing as a boy, fell into a vat of boiling water with a dead hog; Chris Offutt joined the circus and watched a tattooed woman swallow a fluorescent light; and Frank Conroy practiced yo-yo tricks.


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    The Maytrees: A Novel

      Annie Dillard
The Maytrees: A Novel

Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. Hands-off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems.

In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. When their son Petie appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. But years later it is Deary who causes the town to talk.

In this moving novel, Dillard intimately depicts willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love. She presents nature's vastness and nearness. Warm and hopeful, The Maytrees is the surprising capstone of Dillard's original body of work.


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    For the Time Being

      Annie Dillard
For the Time Being

Following a novel, a memoir, and a book of poems, Annie Dillard returns to a form of nonfiction she has made her own--now, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

This personal narrative surveys the panorama of our world, past and present. Here is a natural history of sand, a catalogue of clouds, a batch of newborns on an obstetrical ward, a family of Mongol horsemen. Here is the story of Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin digging in the deserts of China. Here is the story of Hasidic thought rising in Eastern Europe. Here are defect and beauty together, miracle and tragedy, time and eternity. Dillard poses questions about God, natural evil, and individual existence. Personal experience, science, and religion bear on a welter of fact. How can an individual matter? How might one live?

Compassionate, informative, enthralling, always surprising, For the Time Being shows one of our most original writers--her breadth of knowledge matched by keen powers of observation, all of it informing her relentless curiosity--in the fullness of her powers.


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    Holy the Firm

      Annie Dillard
Holy the Firm

In 1975 Annie Dillard took up residence on an island in Puget Sound in a wooded room furnished with "one enormous window, one cat, one spider and one person." For the next two years she asked herself questions about time, reality, sacrifice death, and the will of God. In Holy the Firm she writes about a moth consumed in a candle flame, about a seven-year-old girl burned in an airplane accident, about a baptism on a cold beach. But behind the moving curtain of what she calls "the hard things -- rock mountain and salt sea," she sees, sometimes far off and sometimes as close by as a veil or air, the power play of holy fire.

This is a profound book about the natural world -- both its beauty and its cruelty -- the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dillard knows so well.


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    Living by Fiction

      Annie Dillard
Living by Fiction

Living by Fiction is written for--and dedicated to--people who love literature. Dealing with writers such as Nabokov, Barth, Coover, Pynchon, Borges, García Márquez, Beckett, and Calvino, Annie Dillard shows why fiction matters and how it can reveal more of the modern world and modern thinking than all the academic sciences combined. Like Joyce Cary's Art and Reality, this is a book by a writer on the issues raised by the art of literature. Readers of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Holy the Firm will recognize Dillard's vivid writing, her humor, and the lively way in which she tackles the urgent questions of meaning in experience itself.


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    The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New

      Annie Dillard
The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New

in recognition of this pulitzer prize–winning author’s lauded career as a master essayist, a landmark collection, including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work the abundance includes the best of Annie Dillard’s essays, delivered in her fierce and muscular prose, filled with absorbing detail and metaphysical fact. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life—a commuter chases snowball-throwing children through backyards, a bookish teenager memorizes the poetry of Rimbaud—with beauty and irony. These essays invite readers into sweeping landscapes, to join Dillard in exploring the complexities of time and death, often with wry humor. On one page, an eagle falls from the sky with a weasel attached to its throat; on another, a man walks into a bar.

Marking the vigor of this powerful writer, The Abundance highlights Annie Dillard’s elegance of mind.


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