Margaret's Reviews > The Maytrees

The Maytrees by Annie Dillard
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's review
Jan 09, 11

really liked it
Read in January, 2011

I first heard about Annie Dillard's The Maytrees nearly three years ago when it was a PEN/Faulkner finalist. At the May 2008 award ceremony, an audible sigh of disappointment came from the audience when it was announced that Dillard was not able to attend the event. Susan Richards Shreve did the honors of reading a passage, and, in my opinion, it was the finest writing we heard that evening. Since then I've had it on my to-read list; at some point I picked up a remaindered copy. Finally, during a New Year's trip, I gave into its pleasures. They are on nearly every page, heaps and heaps of poetry--delicious syntax, an otherworldly lexicon--the words I looked up!--fresh rhythms. But the delights are also in Dillard's turns of mind on the metaphysical. And just when you think that Dillard is mostly a poet, a naturalist, she hit me with a walloping plot. Sadly--for me--Dillard announced after this book that she was giving up writing and turning (happily for her? see her Web site Annie Dillard) to painting. Having read only Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood, I'm thrilled to know there's one more novel of hers out there. The Living is going straight to my to-read list.

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