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Dillard, Annie

Category: Writer

 

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.

Annie taught for 21 years in the English department of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut.

Her website says ‘Please don't use Wikipedia. It is unreliable; anyone can post anything, no matter how wrong. For example, an article by Mary Cantwell misquotes me wildly. The teacher in me says, "The way to learn about a writer is to read the text. Or texts."

Or to read the reviews on Amazon.  Critics and Wikipedia may be consistently nasty in their writing and Wikipedia has certainly excelled itself in its complete lack of fairness and courtesy, but Annie's readers love her books, for example

Annie Dillard is more alive than anyone I have ever known including myself. Her words are captivating as they create images of a natural world that pulses with spirituality even in its moments of raw cruelty. She does not pontificate about nature, admitting that she is only writing as an observer. Nonetheless, her writing is wise, reminding us that events as simple as changes in the light or the unexpected sight of a muskrat for a second is like a gift from the universe. For the first time in my life, a warm fuzzy feeling of wonder and gratitude for simple existence filled me when I read this book. And I know I will feel it again every time I open Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. As a wannabe environmentalist who has read as much nature writing as I have been able to get my hands on in my 16 years, I would place Annie Dillard right up there with Rachel Carson at the top of my list

Annie Dillard receives the 2014 National Humanities Medal

And this is simply one of very many like that.  Know a person by their readers..... .

Here is an extract from her website, to put the record straight.  Her autobiography is called An American Childhood.  All the other details are available by following this LINK.

Annie Dillard 1945-

Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Religion: None

Democrat

EDUCATION:

  • The Ellis School
  • B.A. Hollins College 1967 (English)
  • M.A. Hollins College 1968 (English)

TEACHING:

  • Scholar-in-Residence, Western Washington University, 1975-1979
  • Various titles ending professor emerita, Wesleyan University, 1980-2002

HONORS:

  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1966
  • Pulitzer Prize, general nonfiction (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek), 1975
  • New York Press Club Award for Excellence ("Innocence in the Galapagos," Harper's Magazine), 1975
  • Washington Governor's Award for Literature, 1977
  • Connecticut Governor's Arts Award, 1993
  • Western Pennsylvania Historical Society History Makers Award, 1993
  • National Endowment for the Arts/Literature Grant, September 1982-September 1983
  • Phi Beta Kappa Orator, Harvard Commencement Exercises, 1983
  • New York Public Library Literary Lion, 1984
  • Boston Public Library "Literary Light," 1990
  • John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Grant, September 1985-September 1986
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Boston College, 1986; University of Hartford, 1993; Connecticut College, 1993. Subsequent honorary degrees turned down as they take days and days in heels.
  • Middletown Commission on the Arts Award, 1987
  • National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, 1987 (An American Childhood)
  • Appalachian Gold Medallion, 1989; University of Charleston, Charleston, West Virginia
  • St. Botolph's Club Foundation Award in the Arts, 1989; St. Botolph's Club, Boston
  • Ambassador Book Award in letters, English- Speaking Union, 1989 (for The Writing Life)
  • Boston Globe, "Best Books of the Decade" for Teaching a Stone to Talk
  • The Milton Prize, 1994 (The Milton Center, Wichita)
  • The Campion Award (America magazine-int'l), 1994
  • Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, 1997
  • Fellow, Calhoun College, Yale, 1997-99
  • PEN Diamond-Vogelstein Award for book of essays, 1999, for For the Time Being, which is not a book of essays
  • Pour le meilleur roman etranger, the Maurice Coindreau award, 2002 for For the Time Being, tr. Sabine Porte, and 1975 for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, tr. Sabine Porte.
  • Academy Award in Literature, 1998, from American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1999-
  • century's 100 best nonfiction books includes Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  • century's 100 best Western novels (Los Angeles Times) incl The Living
  • century's 100 best spiritual books (ed. Philip Zaleski) incl Pilgrim
  • 100 best essays (ed. Joyce Carol Oates) incl "Total Eclipse."
  • Top Ten Books of the Year, The New York Times Book Review, includes The Maytrees and several other titles.
  • Sole finalist in North America for Dublin Times IMPAC award, for The Maytrees.
  • Irish Times, IMPAC Award for The Maytrees as one of the best novels of 2007 worldwide.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities medal for 2014

OTHER ACTIVITIES:

  • Contributing editor, Harper's magazine, 1974-1981, 1983-1985
  • Usage panelist, American Heritage Dictionary
  • Member, P.E.N., Poetry Society, Committee for Public Libraries, New York Public Library National Literary Committee, (also “Library Lion”) National Committee on U.S.- China Relations, McNair Mentors Program,  The Catholic Commission on Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, NAACP, The Society of American Historians, The Century Association, American Society of Arts and Letters.
  • Honorary board, Key West Literary Seminar
  • Board, Western States Arts Foundation until 1988
    Ossabaw Island Project until 1982
    Ossabaw Foundation, 1994
    The Milton Center, 1980
    The New Press, 1992
    Wesleyan Writer's Conference, 1984-? 
    Chairman, 1991-2003
    Authors Guild Fund, active voter 1993-2011
    Protect Historic America
  • Member, U.S. Cultural Delegation to China (scholars, publishers, writers), May-June, 1982
  • Member, U.S. writers delegation, UCLA U.S.- Chinese writers conference, September, 1982
  • Volunteer, St. Mary's soup kitchen (Fl) {and seldom: Inter-faith Council soup kitchen (N.C.)} for about
    10 years ending 2000
  • "Mentor" Kingswood-Oxford Mentor Program 1990-98
  • Prop., Key West Sat. Volleyball 1994-2004
  • Juror: Associated Writing Program Award in Nonfiction, 1983
  • Bollingen Prize, Yale University Library, 1984
  • Pulitzer Prize General Nonfiction, 1985 and 1991.
  • Western States Book Award, 1988
  • PEN Martha Albrand Award in Nonfiction, 1988 and 1989
  • Connecticut Commission on the Arts, fiction, 1990 
  • Society of American Historians, fiction
  • Barnes and Noble nonfiction prize 2000
  • Nominator: Lila Wallace Foundation
  • MacArthur Foundation--can't remember when
  • 2013 member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • 2000 member, American Academy of Arts & Letters

 

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