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Publisher's Summary

Sometimes there is an entire year that sparkles in the memory as a time brimming over with the fullness of life. By the age of 10, Annie’s intervals of awakening began to occur more frequently; the hours and minutes of the years that followed were spent reveling in the delights and the anguishes that accompany being fully alive.

©1987 Annie Dillard (P)1991 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about An American Childhood

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Nothing compares to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

While there is something I love about Annie Dillard, I can't seem to find another book she has written that is worth my time - yet I keep trying. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek truly spoke to me and fed all my love of reading, exploring, and nature. It inspired me. Somehow I feel a kinship to her. But other than that one book, nothing else has done it.

She writes with the incredible knowledge of one who was born to art and words. Her descriptions sing. She does not simply see a person or place, she breathes it. A person is described in the way an artist sees, with words that give the reader a picture that is real. A person's movements, muscle, sinew, and demeanor jumps from a page. So, what's wrong? Her topics, I think.

I expected a lot from this book. I got the music, description, character, attitude, time, and place. I could see her thoughts and vision. What I could not get was my own emotional involvement. I simply did not care about her story, so highly regarded by others. I admired her, but just did not feel moved. Perhaps this comes from a lack of interest in Pittsburgh, or what seemed to me, her odd childhood. I could not relate.

I keep trying. I read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and was blown away. I read The Maytrees and Teaching a Stone to Talk, and now An American Childhood. I admire her style, but so far no other book by her sings to me.

1 person found this helpful

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How could Annie Dillard be hailed as such a great writer

I was not a fan... maybe her other stories are more interesting
She has intense literary devices
But the content put me to sleep

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terrific memoir!

Masterful account of a precocious, world-embracing, spiritual, and mind-expanding childhood. Annie Dillard is phenomenal and unique! Superb narration is a bonus.

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PRIVILEGED CHILDHOOD

If you could sum up An American Childhood in three words, what would they be?

PRIVILEGED ELITIST MUSINGS

Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably the father - he tried to do something different by sailing his boat to Louisiana; otherwise, they were all dull people.

What about Alexandra O’Karma’s performance did you like?

She was okay.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This book is not worthy of a film. There's hardly a story there.

1 person found this helpful