An American Childhood Author:Annie Dillard An American Childhood is about what it feels like to be alive and awake. Annie Dillard continues the passionate exploration of the interior life she began in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She evokes childhood's vigor, clarity and keenness. — "I grew up in Pittsburgh in the 1950's" she writes, "in a house full of comedians, reading books." Dillard l... more »earns her world, a grand and paradoxical one. She bird-watches at the country club. Her father quits his corporation job and takes his boat down the Ohio River along for a few months, down toward New Orleans. Her mother teaches the three sisters how to tell a joke, dance all night and bet a poker hand.
Dillard's ecstatic interest in the world begins here in childhood. She collects rocks and insects; she makes sharp pencil drawings; she memorizes faces for detective work, pitches a baseball, plays with a microscope, learns psalms, tries flying. It's an ordinary childhood. What is extraordinary is Dillard's distinctive irony and humor coupled with the power and depth of her probing. This is a sweeping and original book, a classic story of the dawning of an American consciousness.« less