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The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,447 ratings  ·  252 reviews
in recognition of this pulitzer prize–winning author’s lauded career as a master essayist, a landmark collection, including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work the abundance includes the best of Annie Dillard’s essays, delivered in her fierce and muscular prose, filled with absorbing detail and metaphysical fact. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Ecco
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Jackie St Hilaire I'm 25percent into listening to the audio version and I am definitely going to read the Pilgrim at Tinker Creek next.
Read Maytree first.…more
I'm 25percent into listening to the audio version and I am definitely going to read the Pilgrim at Tinker Creek next.
Read Maytree first.(less)

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For readers who are reasonably familiar with Dillard’s work, the selection given here might be a little disappointing. Why reread 60 pages from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I thought, when I have a copy of it up on the shelf? Rather than reading long portions of For the Time Being and Teaching a Stone to Talk, why not go find whole copies to read (which might help with understanding them in context)? None of Dillard’s poetry or fiction has been included, and the most recent piece, “This Is the Life, ...more
Diane S ☔
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annie Dillard's essay are my pause button, or my reset button. She makes me stop and think, look at what's around me, wonder at the everyday things in my life. I own all her books and whenever I get frustrated at the many things, because of my health, that I can no longer do, I read a few. Whether it is a solar eclipse, badgers, church music or the many things around us she has an interesting or amusing way of describing these things. I don't read more than a few in one sitting because they lose ...more
I didn't know the name Annie Dillard until right before I moved to Pittsburgh. Someone I worked with at the hospital in Missouri overheard me talking about my upcoming move and said he read a Pittsburgh author named Annie Dillard. The nerd that I am, I was like, "Do tell me more!" It was through him that her name was on my radar.

When I read her, I fell in love. When my brother and I moved here, we drove around the neighborhood she wrote about in An American Childhood and tried to guess which hou
Book Riot Community
ALL HAIL THE QUEEN. I once had a friend insist I read an Annie Dillard book before I could stay with her when I visited NYC, and I am still thankful she made that demand because it changed my life! Dillard is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, and has been chronicling life, both the mundane and the fascinating aspects, for decades. She has an amazing ability to deconstruct everything she sees and beautifully describe it, whether it's her childhood, or poetry, or nature. If you've never read her, I ...more
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anne Dillard is very different to most people. When they look at the world around them they only see a fraction of what is actually there, she relentlessly absorbs every detail of the place and experience. But her true skill lies in taking what she has seen and writing about it with tight, and sharp prose. In this new collection, Dillard writes about subjects as wide-ranging and diverse as solar eclipses, the family jokes, the bundle of energy that is the weasel, as well as essays on skin, tsuna ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, essays
breath taking! no words do it justice really, just a book of wonder
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Imagine you are a teenage girl in the early 2000s. You love books. You spend hours at the local thrift shop where you stand in the book aisle, exploring the shelves of books, even smelling them. You have no computer. You know nothing about the internet. Books are your only way to connect to the world.

One day, in your high school English class, you read Annie Dillard's "The Death of a Moth." You feel on fire, like the moth that is consumed by the candle flame in the essay. You feel astonished for
Callum McAllister
The prose was so beautiful and I really enjoyed this — if I was in the mood for it. If I couldn’t fully, fully concentrate on it or wasn’t quite in the mood for it the writing was so ethereal that I realised I’d just be reading and have no idea what she was actually talking about.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They will question thee concerning what they should expend.
Say: The Abundance.

~The Qur'an, Sura of The Cow

The Abundance is subtitled “Narrative Essays Old and New”, and for the most part, these “essays” are excerpts from the books of Annie Dillard that I have read before. Repeatedly, I was delighted to rediscover those passages that I had loved upon first reading (passages that I quoted from copiously the first time around), and as a collection, I think this is a really fine book: anyone not alr
Beth Bonini
You need to know that The Abundance is a collection of essays which span at least twenty years of writing - and include selections from seven different books, but primarily from Teaching a Stone to Talk, An American Childhood, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and For the Time Being. If you have most or all of those books, there isn't much point in buying this one (unless you are a mega-fan, of course); but if you have never read Annie Dillard, this collection is a brilliant place to start. You will get a ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
I tried on this one, I really did, but after 100 pages I was done. Trying to read this book felt like reading the journal of the high school girl who thought she was artsy. Each essay dragged on and seemed to be fascinated both with its own language and over describing each aspect of the scene. The dead flies in the bathroom confirmed to me that I do not think I’d get along with Dillard in real life. I just don’t think I can see the same level of philosophy in her observations.

I don’t know what
I've heard so much about Annie Dillard but hadn't until now read anything by her, so this collection of highlights from across her career was a really good introduction to her unique perspective. I especially liked the essay Seeing, it seemed to really encapsulate her entire worldview and definitely encouraged me to more deeply look at and think about what's around me.

Thanks to netgalley for the chance to read & review this collection.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to believe that Annie Dillard had written a new book. I didn't pay much attention to the reviews, and when a friend gifted me with a copy, I jumped right in. Let's just say that most of the book is comprised of previously published essays and excerpts--edited, rearranged, retitled, so I was a little disappointed. But Dillard is always worth a re-read. Her insights, her vocabulary, her meditations need thoughtful reading.

For those who are in awe of this planet, frogs, eclipses,
I absolutely adore Annie Dillard. Her writing is a contagious swirl of rapture and gratitude.

This is a collection of new and old essays, and unfortunately it has too much of the old. And the essays work better in their original setting, be it Holy the Firm or Teaching a Stone to Talk. Here they seem a bit out of context. Oh well.
missy jean
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not sure there is much "new" here, as the collection seems to be mostly reprints and snippets of books, but it is a well-chosen collection of bits and oh! the way the words work! Dillard's verbs are enough for me to love her forever.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The essays in the first half of this book had me breathless in admiration. Such beauty, such kindness, so resolutely wide-eyed!

Then I read the second half.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
‘The Abundance’ is a collection of personal essays by Annie Dillard, published by Canongate Books.

Ok. I’m pretty late to board the Annie Dillard train. This is the first book that I’ve read by her, and my God, it will not be the last. I was absolutely stunned. I’ve always been a fan of the personal essay – it is a very underrated genre, in my opinion. They’re not easy to write – too detached a voice and you just become academic, too personal a voice it becomes uncomfortably masturbatory. Dillard
Candice Wang
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I first read Annie Dillard on a slightly blurred PDF for my modern essay course. It was "Seeing", and my classmates either adored it or hated it. I remember clearly one line -- something that could be construed as wildly melodramatic or beautifully lyrical, something about hearing one's own "thin cries" echoing. I decided I needed to read some more of her essays.

Although I discovered some jewels within "The Abundance", particularly "Footsteps" and "Tsunami", it was much like eating too much che
Pamela Hunt Cloyd
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible writing. I kept rereading lines just for their beauty. And the writing was so grounded. I love how she sees the world.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
My introduction to Annie Dillard is a curated collection of essays on topics as varied as Disneyland, sand, tsunami, archeology.
My personal favourites were the nature ones - when she writes on observing the natural world around her, it's like reading a more charged Mary Oliver, less simple in her analogies, as wonder-filled though. Sometimes, it's difficult to understand her.. the connections between religious faith and polar expeditions escape me, for instance. But the times when her observati
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A real treat for Dillard fans. I have read most of the collections these essays come from, and here is a few new essays too. Having read Dillard over many years, it's wonderful to have a reader of sorts. It makes me reflect on her themes- such as the moth to the flame, and to see how themes and ideas reappear in various essay in different but related ways. This time I experienced her voice as being more aloof, less able to feel, more humorous than I have experienced it in the past. And, as alway ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment.”
I've been enjoying Annie Dillard quotes for years, but finally got around to reading this book of her essays.
Nothing is ordinary to Dillard - she observes and illuminates in quirky and intimate detail everything around her, and you feel in comparison as though you have been sleepwalking through the world.
I particularly loved the essay "A Writer in the World". Beautiful advice for all creative souls.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
An abundance of Dillard's observations transformed into some intensely felt prose.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
So many adjectives. So, so many.
Ric Dragon
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just wow! Annie Dillard's name has been in my peripheral vision for some time, but I've never read even an essay. But now, I'm out to get all of her books for our library. Breathtaking prose.
Erin Mc
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this 4 stars only because the title should not have included "and new." That is pretty much a lie.
Anyway, it was nice to revisit some of this work in a different frame.
Saarah Niña
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I'm in love with this book.

I love Dillard's observations, they are so very peculiar. And I feel we have so much in common- mind you, her words are so very thought-provoking and stunningly rare. I especially enjoyed reading her repulsion of old people. I have always harboured some sort of fear towards getting older- so it was pleasantly reassuring to read similar ideas.

Similarly I was awed by her other philosophies, those that especially struck me were her thoughts regarding death, a good exam
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A stunning new collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winner, with an introduction by Geoff Dyer
Annie Dillard has spent a lifetime examining the world around her with eyes wide open, drinking in all things intensely and relentlessly. She conjures currents of magic and wisdom, illuminating the seemingly ordinary moments of a life lived fearlessly - as a breathless teenager, as a roving young adult and as a writer - with her unique wit, boundless curiosity and fierce, undeniably singular voice.
Laura Lacey
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had never come across Annie Dillard until this book caught my eye - it seems I had been missing out. Dillard writes beautiful essays that really make you stop and think.

In places it seems her writing doesn't even make sense, but somehow you can feel what she means.
She illuminates the everyday, endowing things with meaning. She's like a course on mindfulness but without the ridiculous pretension - this is just how she thinks and feels and I can see a little bit of myself in this. Life is abou
Emma Jones
Apr 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This isn't a new Annie Dillard book, per se, but it's a collection of pieces from many of her other works. I would say the essays included in this collection were not equally good, but any fault I found in the essays was not due to Annie Dillard, who I am confident can write beautifully on any subject known to man, woman, or dog. There were just some whose subject matter didn't interest me as much as others. For example, the selections from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, a book on nature observations, ...more
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Annie Dillard (born April 30, 1945) is an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non-fiction. She has published works of poetry, essays, prose, and literary criticism, as well as two novels and one memoir. Her 1974 work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Dillard taught for 21 years in the English department of Wesleyan Unive ...more

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