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The Abundance

Narrative Essays Old and New
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Length: 8 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

In recognition of her long and lauded career as a master essayist, a landmark collection including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work, rigorously curated by the author herself

"A writer who never seems tired, who has never plodded her way through a page or sentence, Dillard can only be enjoyed by a wide-awake reader," warns Geoff Dyer in his introduction to this stellar collection. Carefully culled from her past work, The Abundance is quintessential Annie Dillard, delivered in her fierce and undeniably singular voice, filled with fascinating detail and metaphysical fact. The pieces within will exhilarate both admiring fans and a new generation of readers, having been "re-framed and re-hung," with fresh editing and reordering by the author, to situate these now seminal works within her larger canon.

The Abundance reminds us that Dillard's brand of "novelized nonfiction" pioneered the form long before it came to be widely appreciated. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life - a commuter chases snowball-throwing children through neighborhood streets, a teenager memorizes Rimbaud's poetry - with beauty and irony, inviting listeners onto sweeping landscapes, to join her in exploring the complexities of time and death, with a sense of humor: in one instance, an eagle falls from the sky with a weasel attached to its throat; in another, a man walks into a bar.

Reminding us of the indelible contributions of this formative figure in contemporary nonfiction, The Abundance exquisitely showcases Annie Dillard's enigmatic, enduring genius, as Dillard herself wishes it to be marked.

©2016 Geoff Dyer (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Published by arrangement with Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Susan Ericksen transports listeners through time in her enraptured narration of 22 of Dillard’s foremost essays.... A complex journey beautifully told commands listening over and over to fully appreciate its layers of meaning and lyrical storytelling." (AudioFile)

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

If you enjoy Annie Dillard

I had to sink into this book, one essay at a time. I don't think I would have stayed with it if I had to read it. The narration makes a huge difference and I was drawn back to it over and over . The essays are not narrative in a linear sense and if I was hung up on coherance I would have been lost. But no one writes "paintings" the way Annie Dillard does. Beautiful and mesmerizing. If I took a class and this book was under analysis and/or even discussion, the magic would not have worked for me. I simply had to let myself float away on the words, humor, insight, irony and language. No other way for me to love this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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stunning writing

Dillard never disappoints! Wonderful selection from her varied works. Took getting used to reader, but came to appreciate.

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  • JC
  • 07-17-19

Essays were interesting but...

Dillard's choice of essays was intriguing. Wish she would have explained her choices before each one. It would have been much better if Dillard read the book herself. Present reader would do better with children's story books.