Author(s): Annie Dillard
Annie Dillard has spent a lifetime examining the world around her with eyes wide open, drinking in all things intensely and relentlessly. She conjures currents of magic and wisdom, illuminating the seemingly ordinary moments of a life lived fearlessly - as a breathless teenager, as a roving young adult and as a writer - with her unique wit, boundless curiosity and fierce, undeniably singular voice. Whether observing a sublime lunar eclipse or a moth consumed in a candle flame, the trembling of lily pads on a pond or hundreds of red-winged blackbirds taking flight, Dillard's awe at the fragility of the natural world rejuvenates and inspires pleasure and heartache. Precise in language and deeply meditative in spirit, this is a landmark collection from one of America's masters. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Annie Dillard is a formative figure in contemporary non-fiction and The Abundance a remarkable showcase of her enigmatic genius.
Annie Dillard's great originality lies in her fierce interrogation of creation. Why should anything - light, love, leaf - be the way it is? The inquisition is luminous, startling, mischievous. She once declared that her writing happened when imagination meets memory in the dark. Well, the memory is scalpel bright, and the imagination alchemical -- RICHARD MABEY Dillard's style is spirited and gale-force. She raps out her opinions; lyrical, gleeful, cymbal-clashing, peppery. The best thing is her glee, a pied-piperish glee at being in the world, which she evokes better than anyone else -- ROBERT MACFARLANE Annie Dillard is among the greatest nature writers who have ever lived. Like Thoreau, like Gilbert White, she combines a naturalist's sharp eye with a philosopher's curiosity and a poet's magical gift for language. Keen, urgent and impassioned, her subject is life itself, in all its teeming and marvellous forms -- OLIVIA LAING The clarity of Annie Dillard's forensic gaze is astonishing - she is one of the most brilliant essayists of the past half-century, and this is a tremendous selection -- KEVIN BARRY A writer who never seems tired, who has never plodded her way through a page or sentence, Dillard can only be enjoyed by a wide-awake reader ...She opens our eyes to the world and to new ways of articulating what we see -- GEOFF DYER The trouble with hasty people like me is that we charge through our time on earth without noticing it. It was Annie Dillard who got me, before it was too late, to pay attention to where I was before I lost it. So I did. What abundance! -- RICHARD HOLLOWAY Annie Dillard's words are the outpouring of a brilliant mind tempered by a pleading heart. Her distinctive voice and incandescent imagery lifts us to heights few writers can ever hope to aspire to. I came to Annie's work through her Pulitzer winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and have hung on every word she has written ever since. This anthology is the perfect introduction to her luminous prose, her insightful wisdom and her powerful engagement with nature and the human spirit -- JOHN LISTER-KAYE Dillard archingly transcends all other writers of our day in all the simple, intimate and beautiful ways of the natural master -- BUCKMINSTER FULLER The pleasurable voyages of Dillard's prose are grounded in alert observation - but springing into levitations of surprise and lit by eruptions of discovery -- ROBERT PINSKY Annie Dillard is one of those people who seem to be more fully alive than most of us, more nearly wide-awake than human beings generally get to be * New York Times * Few writers evoke better the emotion of awe and few have ever conveyed more graphically the weight of silence, the force of the immaterial * Boston Globe * Annie Dillard is, was, and always will be the very best at describing the landscapes in which we find ourselves * Star Tribune (Minneapolis) * This book, a writerly mashup of Dillard's best work, samples from an oeuvre forty years in the making. Ever a keen observer, Dillard hooks readers with unusual, often haunting, and yet precisely vivid descriptions. This collection is an excellent entry point into Dillard's writing and would especially appeal to new readers, although Dillard devotees will also enjoy this kaleidoscopic retrospective, this new way of 'seeing' her prose. That said, it will only whet their appetites, leave them hungering for and searching for her complete works * Library Journal *
Annie Dillard was born in 1945 in Pennsylvania. She is a much-celebrated poet, novelist and essayist and author of thirteen books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was awarded the 2014 National Humanities Medal for her work deepening the understanding of the human experience. www.anniedillard.com