annie dillard


Vibrant, vigorous, and weird

A review of Annie Dillard

Almost any page of this collection yields the precise puzzling haunting music of Dillard’s mind at work.


Disasters and deformities

spring books 1999

Several years have passed since I last encountered a book by Annie Dillard, but her images remain as strong in the memory as Proust's madeleine. Her gaze concentrates on the ordinary until it is transformed into the transcendent: a tree so intensely colored that it gives off light; a sky's invisible clouds revealed only in reflected images on the surface of a glassy lake; a bowl of pond water where one-celled creatures are visible to the naked eye.


5 books for ministry

Brother to a Dragonfly, by Will D. Campbell (Continuum). Will Campbell distrusts institutions, the religious enterprise, and faith that is too settled. He’s often irreverent, finds church in a tavern, and will offer visitors a sip of whiskey and call it communion (so I hear).