Annie Dillard has written several
books, including the memoir of her
parents, An American Childhood; the
Northwest pioneer epic The Living; and
the nonfiction narrative Pilgrim at
Tinker Creek. A gregarious recluse,
she is a member of the American Academy
of Arts and Letters.
She was born in April 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Best known for her narrative nonfiction, she has also published poetry, essays, literary criticism, autobiography and fiction. She is married to the historical biography Robert D Richardson Jr (award-winning and bestselling author of biographies on luminaries such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and William James).
Dillard's childhood is described in detail in her 1987 memoir, An American Childhood. She is the oldest of three daughters of affluent and nonconformist parents who encouraged humor, exploration and creativity. She studied literature and creative writing at Hollins College in Virginia, and married her writing teacher, the poet R.H. Dillard, who "taught her everything she knows" about writing.
She graduated with a Masters in English in 1968. After a near-fatal bout of pneumonia in 1971 she spent four seasons living near Tinker Creek in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Roanoke, Virginia, where she wrote Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (perhaps inspired my Thoreau's Walden, which was her thesis topic).
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975. After which she wrote a number of narrative essays in a similar style before writing her first novel, The Living (1992), which grew out of a story she wrote fifteen years before. Published fifteen years after The Living, The Maytrees is her second novel.
This biography was last updated on 07/23/2011.
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