Books by Annie Dillard

THE ABUNDANCE by Annie Dillard
Released: March 15, 2016

"From the vantage point of her 70th year, this collection is a testament to a lifetime of doing just that."
A collection of essays that serve as a solid introduction to a writer blessed with an all-consuming consciousness steeped in both faith and science. Read full book review >
THE MAYTREES by Annie Dillard
Released: June 12, 2007

"The compact, elliptical narrative will continue to pervade the reader's consciousness long after the novel ends."
An anthropologist's eye and a poet's precision distinguish this superbly written novel, exploring the ritual complexities of life, love and death. Read full book review >
FOR THE TIME BEING by Annie Dillard
Released: March 30, 1999

"One of those very rare works that will bear rereading and rereading again, each time revealing something new of itself."
A work of piercing loveliness and sadness, an inquiry into the meaning and significance of life, from Pulitzer-winner Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 1972; The Living, 1992; etc.). Read full book review >
THE LIVING by Annie Dillard
Released: May 6, 1992

"Otherwise: a triumph of narrative skill and faithful research—headed for success."
The popular Pulitzer-winning Dillard (An American Childhood, 1987, The Writing Life, 1989, etc.) has come up with a novel at last—a panoramic and engrossing re-creation of 19th-century pioneer life in the Pacific Northwest—complete with gentlemanly gold miners, avuncular railroad speculators, misty-eyed sweethearts, assorted schemers and dreamers, and even a three-card-monte player or two. Read full book review >
THE WRITING LIFE by Annie Dillard
Released: Sept. 13, 1989

"This, plus her undeniable authority when discussing the miseries and joys that attend the world of pen and ink, makes this slim volume, if not a triumph, at least worth the read."
From the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Teaching a Stone to Talk, etc., a mosaic of essays on writers and writing, shimmering here and there with a lovely phrase, a bit of sage advice, but often done in by overwrought imagery and overheated views. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1988

"Balanced, inventive and often dazzling, this collection shows off American writing at its deepest and best: feeling, thinking, in love with its own possibilities."
Twenty consistently fine, persistently challenging essays in the third volume of this annual collection. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 23, 1987

Dillard's headlong immersion into the mysteries of the natural world—from bedrocks to the heavens, and flora and fauna (from amoebas to us)—places this childhood memoir of life with a companionable family in Pittsburgh's elite enclave in the 50's and 60's. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 1984

"Yet it has an easy charm only occasionally compromised by good fellowship sentimentality or interpretive strivings. (It also serves to offset—were that necessary—Liu Zongren's sour, disaffected Two Years in the Melting Pot, below.)"
Dillard's encounters with Chinese writers took place both in China, as part of a US delegation, and in the US, as host to a Chinese delegation: "here were the same events: formal meetings about writers' goals and cultural differences, and informal meetings of comedy or collusion." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 13, 1982

"Still: a collection of meditations like polished stones-painstakingly worded, tough-minded yet partial to Mystery, and peerless when it comes to injecting larger resonances into the natural world."
Again, combining metaphorical leaps with side-of-the-mouth aphorisms and plain-song, Dillard celebrates moments of spiritual comfort and unease—not in sustained meditations here (as in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek or Holy the Firm), but in a variety of encounters with animals, stars, vegetation, and people. Read full book review >
LIVING BY FICTION by Annie Dillard
Released: March 23, 1982

"An enjoyable and thoughtful, often superbly phrased little book."
An equable, frequently elegant, and unpious essay on the vagaries and harmonies of fiction. Read full book review >
HOLY THE FIRM by Annie Dillard
Released: Sept. 21, 1977

"A difficult, restless rumination—remarkably, in these days of liturgical placebos, God obsessed and disdaining easy comfort."
Dillard, author of a sustained spiritual exploration in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, takes on Job's question in this densely packed meditation, which whirs with images of dying moths and angel wings, and centers on the accidental burning away of a young child's face. Read full book review >
Released: March 13, 1974

"Thus this becomes somewhat exhausting reading, if taken in toto, but even if Dillard's reach exceeds her grasp, her sights are leagues higher than that of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea, regretfully (re her sex), the inevitable comparison."
This is our life, these are our lighted seasons, and then we die. . . . Read full book review >