Catherine's Reviews > An American Childhood

An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
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Feb 21, 12

Read from February 10 to 21, 2012

I know that not everyone likes Dillard (she "grates on the nerves" of one reviewer), but I loved this book (especially after such a dreadful experience with a certain 2011 memoir). It's funny. Am I the only one who thinks it's really funny? How lucky we are that Dillard's memory can take us all back to those days when we might have been afraid of nuns, or curious about the other people who checked out the same library books, or fascinated by the physical appearance of adults...

"What I sought in books was imagination. It was depth, depth of thought and feeling; some sort of extreme subject matter; some nearness to death; some call to courage. I myself was getting wild; I wanted wildness, originality, genius, rapture, hope. I wanted strength, not tea parties. What I sought in books was a world whose surfaces, whose people and events and days lived, actually matched the exaltation of the interior life. There you could live."
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