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Annie Dillard


Annie Dillard
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Annie Dillard (born April 30, 1945) 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 1974 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Dillard taught for 21 years in the English department of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut.

Annie Dillard was the oldest of three daughters in her family. Early childhood details can be drawn from Annie Dillard's autobiography, An American Childhood (1987), about growing up in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It starts in 1950 when ... more »

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  • Cruelty is a mystery, and the waste of pain. But if we describe a word to compass these things, a world that is a long, brute game, then we bump against another mystery: the inrush of power and deligh...
    Annie Dillard (b. 1945), U.S. essayist and autobiographer. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, ch. 1 (1974).
  • ''No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing.... The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful?''
    Annie Dillard (b. 1945), U.S. author, poet. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, ch. 7 (1974).
  • ''The writer studies literature, not the world. ...He is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write.''
    Annie Dillard (b. 1945), U.S. author. The Writing Life, ch. 5 (1989).
  • Write about winter in the summer. Describe Norway as Ibsen did, from a desk in Italy; describe Dublin as James Joyce did, from a desk in Paris. Willa Cather wrote her prairie novels in New York City; ...
    Annie Dillard (b. 1945), U.S. author. The Writing Life, ch. 5 (1989).
  • ''Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.''
    Annie Dillard (b. 1945), U.S. author. The Writing Life, ch. 1 (1989). On the nature of a writer's work.
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