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a glance at the bookshelf these days.

September 21, 2008

I just finished a book (ergo–it’s late at night and I should be sleeping), instead, I want to give you my off-the-cuff take on said book.  It’s by my favorite author, Annie Dillard.  It’s her latest novel, actually, and I’ve put off reading it for a while because Dillards’ literary demesne is not actually the novel.  She writes memoir, found poems, nonfiction narratives, with the kind of saturated, heart-stopping, trembling language that poets aspire to.  And, in the novel, there’s no room for a page so dripping.  We miss plot, character development.  Not a bad novel, at all, The Maytrees is just not Dillard at her best.  I have said it once, I will say it thousands more times– read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, An American Childhood, For the TIme Being, Teaching a Stone to Talk, Conversations with Chinese Writers— read them all, and you will find Dillard in all of her superhuman brilliance.

What’s next on the bedside table?  These few:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. greeneyedmuse permalink*
    September 21, 2008 5:45 am

    There is much, much more on the adventures of my new figure drawing class. And, on the crafty projects I’ve been up to & much-promised, greatly-anticipated pictures of the new apartment! In due time!

  2. Brk permalink
    September 25, 2008 5:08 pm

    I’d have to say that Holy the Firm is better than all the Dillard books you listed. Also, The Maytrees is way better than Encounters with Chinese Writers.

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