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April 30, 1945
Nonfiction, fiction, poetry
30 April 1945 (age 77)
Annie Dillard is an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non-fiction. She has published works of poetry, essays, prose, and literary criticism, as well as two novels and one memoir. Her 1974 work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
Annie Dillard was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dillard attended Hollins College in Virginia (B.A., 1967; M.A., 1968). She was a scholar-in-residence at Western Washington University in Bellingham from 1975 to 1978 and on the faculty of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, from 1980 to 2002, when she retired as professor emerita.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Holy the Firm, For the Time Being, An American Childhood, The Maytrees
Dillard published an autobiographical narrative, An American Childhood, in 1987. The book is about growing up in the 50s Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh in "a house full of comedians." It focuses on "waking up" from a self-absorbed childhood, and becoming immersed in the present moment of the larger world.
In her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974), she distilled from keen observations of her own habitat the essential enigmas of religious mysticism. Critics hailed the work as an American original in the spirit of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Holy the Firm (1977) and Teaching a Stone to Talk (1982) explore similar themes.
“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.”
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
“You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
“Spend the afternoon, you can't take it with you.”
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