Annie Dillard - 1945 -
Born Meta Annie Doak, April 30, 1945, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
American essayist, poet and novelist, often called a latter-day Henry David Thoreau because of her passion for nature and use of descriptive detail and metaphors. Best known for her narrative nonfiction, especially her meditative account of a year spent along a creek in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Roanoke, Virginia. She won the Pulitzer Prize for that integrated collection of essays, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, at the age of 29.
Nonfiction, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974)
Nonfiction, Holy the Firm (1977)
Essays, Teaching a Stone to Talk (1982)
Poems, Tickets for a Prayer Wheel (1974)
Essays, The Writing Life (1989)
“Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.”
“We live on mined land. Nature itself is a laid trap. No one makes it through; no one gets out.
“There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.”
“As a life’s work, I would remember everything – everything, against loss. I would go through life like a plankton net.”
Annie Dillard reads more than 100 books a year on a wide range of subjects – and re-reads one book every year: The Field Book of Ponds & Streams.
During her four seasons at Tinker Creek, Dillard filled 20 journals with notes, which she later transferred to notecards. It took her eight months to turn the boxes of cards into the manuscript for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Near the end, she was working 15 hours a day, avoiding company or news of the outside world, and living on cola and coffee. She lost 30 pounds – and all of her plants died.