The Annie Dillard reader

by Annie Dillard

Paper Book, 1995




New York : HarperPerennial, 1995.


Essays, poems and short stories by a Pulitzer Prize winner. The collection features a new version of Holy the Firm, on the search for God in everyday life. By the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

User reviews

LibraryThing member KCummingsPipes
In my Annie Dillard Reader, Kindle edition, I've read her Poems and The Book of Luke (1989)which made wonderful Advent reading. Kindle location 3899 "It is a fault of infinity to be too small to find. It is a fault of eternity to be crowded out by time." 3922 "This Bible, this ubiquitous, persistent black chunk of a best seller, is a chink--often the only chink--through which winds howl. It is a singularity, a black hole into which our rich and multiple world strays and vanishes. We crack open its pages at our peril." 3925 " is the book that kidnaps the children, and hooks them."
The author writes about her experiences in Christian summer camp and Sunday School and offers insightful commentary on the Gospel text, concluding with these selected quotes: 4095 "What a pity, that so hard on the heels of Christ come the Christians.... flawed to the core, full of wild ideas and hurried self-importance.... They are smug and busy, just like us, and who could believe in them? ...Who could believe that salvation is for these rogues?" "Unless, of course-- Unless Christ's washing the disciples' feet, their dirty toes, means what it could, possibly mean: that it is all right to be human." 4109 "If they were just like us, then Christ's words to them are addressed to us, in full and merciful knowledge--and we are lost. There is no place to hide."
Annie Dillard's lovely meditative prose, her keen observations, and the way her mind interweaves everything make her one of my favorite authors.
I'm continuing the Annie Dillard Reader and have just finished the excerpts from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, perhaps my favorite work of mysticism. kl 4236 "that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames." kl 4270 "An infant who has just learned to hold his head up has a frank and forthright way of gazing about him in bewilderment. He hasn't the faintest clue where he is, and he aims to learn. In a couple of years, what he will have learned is how to fake it..." kl 4567 "But although the pearl may be found, it may not be sought. The literature of illumination reveals this above all: although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise... I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam."
Annie Dillard is an author to read and re-read and take to heart. This book features many well-remembered selections and is a great survey of Dillard's work.
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