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Baggy and Thin

Susan Eilenberg: Annie Dillard, 3 January 2008

The Maytrees 
by Annie Dillard.
Hesperus, 185 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 1 84391 710 6
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... Patience has been the matter of Annie Dillard’s writing for thirty years and more: patience and watchfulness and humility, together with a good deal of meditation (some of it conducted while crouched ‘mute as a photographic plate’, waiting for some small stalked creature to put aside its alarm and show itself on a chilly mudbank or in midgey thickets in Virginia or the Pacific Northwest) on what the watching and the waiting are good for ...


Brian Dillon: Michael Ondaatje, 13 December 2007

by Michael Ondaatje.
Bloomsbury, 273 pp., £17.99, September 2007, 978 0 7475 8924 2
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... Anna quote a passage on the absorption of one foetal twin by the other, then adds: ‘that marvel, Annie Dillard, wrote that.’ No doubt it is very nice for Dillard to be noticed like this. But really: ‘that marvel’? What is she, his cleaner? Divisadero is the sort of book that makes you wonder what some people are ...

Sprigs of Wire

Ange Mlinko: On Jo Ann Beard, 21 March 2024

Collected Works 
by Jo Ann Beard.
Serpent’s Tail, 439 pp., £17.99, August 2023, 978 1 80081 788 3
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by Jo Ann Beard.
Serpent’s Tail, 79 pp., £10, August 2023, 978 1 80081 785 2
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... there’s a single haloed precursor behind Beard’s abysm-haunted later work, it may be Annie Dillard, who made an indelible impression on her generation with books such as Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Holy the Firm and Teaching a Stone to Talk, but whose reputation has fallen into decline. Dillard’s ...

Towards the Transhuman

James Atlas, 2 February 1984

The Oxford Companion to American Literature 
by James Hart.
Oxford, 896 pp., £27.50, November 1983, 0 19 503074 5
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The Modern American Novel 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Oxford, 209 pp., £9.95, April 1983, 0 19 212591 5
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The Literature of the United States 
by Marshall Walker.
Macmillan, 236 pp., £14, November 1983, 0 333 32298 3
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American Fictions 1940-1980: A Comprehensive History and Critical Valuation 
by Frederick Karl.
Harper and Row, 637 pp., £31.50, February 1984, 0 06 014939 6
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Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 919 pp., £21, January 1984, 0 233 97610 8
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... on such newly arrived figures on the scene as Diane Wakoski (1937-; cited here as ‘Wakowski’), Annie Dillard (1945-) and Ann Beattie (1947-). Heavy in the hand, the Companion makes for pretty light reading: Joan Didion is helpfully described as the author of ‘nonfictional works on contemporary life’; the ‘Beat movement’ as ‘a bohemian ...

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