The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New

by Annie Dillard

Hardcover, 2016




New York: Ecco, 2016.


In recognition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author's long and lauded career as a master essayist, a landmark collection, including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work, rigorously curated by the author herself.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Beamis12
Annie Dillard's essay are my pause button, or my reset button. She makes me stop and think, look at what's around me, wonder at the everyday things in my life. I own all her books and whenever I get frustrated at the many things, because of my health, that I can no longer do, I read a few. Whether it is a solar eclipse, badgers, church music or the many things around us she has an interesting or amusing way of describing these things. I don't read more than a few in one sitting because they lose their sense of wonder that way. These are meant to savor, to read slowly, to stop and think, look and learn. She covers so many different subjects, notices so many different things, some are funny, such as the one where she visits Disneyland with a group of Chinese.

I just hope she keeps writing, so I can keep reading her amazing insights.
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LibraryThing member JaredOrlando
Annie Dillard makes you look at everything closer. After reading the Abundance, it'll be hard not to graze your fingers on passing trees, listen in as birds speak to one another. In the technology age, we need her voice, one who helps us look from our devices and into the wood.
LibraryThing member nicholasjjordan
This book is basically an Annie Dillard Reader, and I'd already read virtually everything in the collection. A massive Dillard fan, I would ding it a star for offering little new, but I just love the excerpts too much. I will admit, however, that new-to-Dillard readers should start with a full, other book, and fellow old-to-Dillard readers might be disappointed in the retread.… (more)
LibraryThing member PDCRead
Anne Dillard is very different to most people. When they look at the world around them they only see a fraction of what is actually there, she relentlessly absorbs every detail of the place and experience. But her true skill lies in taking what she has seen and writing about it with tight, and sharp prose. In this new collection, Dillard writes about subjects as wide-ranging and diverse as solar eclipses, the family jokes, the bundle of energy that is the weasel, as well as essays on skin, tsunamis and about the Victorian expeditions to the North Pole.

Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.

Her sense of fascination and wonder at the things she sees permeates the book with all the subjects she talks about, making this a wonderful thing to read. My favourite essay was the one titled ‘For The Time Being’, about that material that most do not consider, sand. In her unique way, we find out how many grains of sand are created every moment, how it flows with water down to the sea before transforming back to rock over countless millennia. We learn that the sharpest items are not always metal and that they took hundreds of small blows to form these exquisite stone implements. This is the second book of Dillard’s that I have read now and I am finding that I am liking her writing more and more. Her penetrating gaze at the world around is brilliantly complemented by her precise prose. Whilst I realise that some of these have been published before, this is a fine introduction to her work who hasn’t read anything of her work before.
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LibraryThing member porte01
I was so enjoying this book. The writing is gorgeous, and I found myself copying long passages down to re read and savour. Then a couple of things started to concern me- the authors dispassionate description of a suffering deer, her self congratulatory tone regarding her mental toughness as a meat eater. Then I got to a paragraph where, in an attempt to scare away some steer blocking her access to a river, she yells scary things at them. Her final submission is “SWEDISH MEATBALLS”, at which point they run away. Shortly after that point, I had to stop reading the book. No matter how hard I tried, I read mean spiritedness against animals in her tone, at the same time that she wrote mind bogglingly beautiful passages around her appreciation of nature in all its glory.… (more)



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