HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
Loading...

An American Childhood (original 1987; edition 1987)

by Annie Dillard (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,779255,927 (4.09)96
Member:ThomasWatson
Title:An American Childhood
Authors:Annie Dillard (Author)
Info:Harper & Roiw (1987), Edition: Book Club Edition
Collections:Read
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

An American Childhood by Annie Dillard (1987)

Recently added bypetermoccia, jeaniehh, amysan, MLRALibrary, whitefieldpl, rsnelson, RevBear, KLuce86, littlesquirrel, private library
Legacy LibrariesGraham Greene
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 96 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
I'm a fiction reader by nature, and I often find it difficult to get into nonfiction. But I'm in love with Annie Dillard's nonfiction. (I still haven't read any of her fiction.) I could read her all day, every day. Although I enjoyed her "Pilgrim" more than "Childhood" ("Pilgrim" in on my "top 10 books of all time" list, though), this book was absolutely terrific. The prose is magical and lyrical, and the reflections both tender and deep. ( )
  petermoccia | Mar 20, 2019 |
I read Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek many years ago and so I've long meant to read another of her books. An American Childhood is a memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s and 1960s. The early chapters are vivid descriptions of her inner life as a child focusing on her imagination. A particular compelling passage describes her horror at a figure crossing her room at night which later realizes is only light from passing cars, but nevertheless she continues to imagine that something is really in her room. From an early age, Dillard is fascinated by nature and she describes learning about it from books at the library and experience much of nature even in her urban environment. As she gets older the narrative grows into more of a traditional memoir more focused on people in her life and her experiences at school and church. Dillard's prose is beautiful, but I didn't find this book nearly as engaging as Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. ( )
  Othemts | Nov 29, 2018 |
I really love Annie Dillard's writing, so I was interested to read about how she became the remarkable thinker and writer that she is. There seem to be two main reasons.

First, she was raised by loving, intelligent parents who allowed her significant independence of thought and activity. They respected and allowed her full personhood. They were also prosperous enough to put her in an excellent girls school.

Second, she was an incredibly curious, focused child with a strong inner locus of motivation and action.

The book is beautifully written and a joy to read. ( )
  LauraBee00 | Mar 7, 2018 |
Stick with Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I think. ( )
  Laurelyn | Oct 20, 2017 |
Annie Dillard is a talented writer capable of creating vivid images in her descriptions of places and things. However, this book is very boring. ( )
  krista.rutherford | May 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house and the place where dwelleth thy glory. - Psalm 26
Dedication
for my parents Pam Lambert Doak and Frank Doak
First words
When everything else has gone from my brain--the President's name, the state capitals, the neighborhoods where I lived, and then my own name and what it was on earth I sought, and then at length the faces of my friends, and finally the faces of my family--when all this has dissolved, what will be left, I believe, is topology: the dreaming memory of land as it lay this way and that.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060915188, Paperback)

Annie Dillard remembers. She remembers the exhilaration of whipping a snowball at a car and having it hit straight on. She remembers playing with the skin on her mother's knuckles, which "didn't snap back; it lay dead across her knuckle in a yellowish ridge." She remembers the compulsion to spend a whole afternoon (or many whole afternoons) endlessly pitching a ball at a target. In this intoxicating account of her childhood, Dillard climbs back inside her 5-, 10-, and 15-year-old selves with apparent effortlessness. The voracious young Dillard embraces headlong one fascination after another--from drawing to rocks and bugs to the French symbolists. "Everywhere, things snagged me," she writes. "The visible world turned me curious to books; the books propelled me reeling back to the world." From her parents she inherited a love of language--her mother's speech was "an endlessly interesting, swerving path"--and the understanding that "you do what you do out of your private passion for the thing itself," not for anyone else's approval or desire. And one would be mistaken to call the energy Dillard exhibits in An American Childhood merely youthful; "still I break up through the skin of awareness a thousand times a day," she writes, "as dolphins burst through seas, and dive again, and rise, and dive."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An autobiography describing the author's childhood and life in Pittburgh during the fifties.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.09)
0.5 1
1 3
1.5
2 14
2.5 2
3 40
3.5 14
4 86
4.5 10
5 112

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 133,476,157 books! | Top bar: Always visible