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“The Abundance” Book Review

“The worlds of fiction and nonfiction tend to be considered opposite sides of the same literary coin. It is a strange sort of division, one that separates bookstores and Greek philosophers alike. Yet as seamlessly understood as those categories may be, there is something crude and inexact about them; languages outside of English often need to invent words to distinguish what is simply known as “storytelling.” Indeed, telling a good story in either fiction or nonfiction requires access to both the real and the imagined.

Those creases between reality and imagination are exactly where Annie Dillard, winner of the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, has made a home. Dillard doesn’t blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction so much as occupy them simultaneously, deploying the surreal and sacred into the cracks of her experiences like glacial rivulets until they frost-shatter into dreamlike prose. The result is a pioneering presence in the literary world that has spanned decades. With The Abundance, Dillard offers readers old and new a curated bird’s-eye view of her essays from 1974 to 2005…”

 

Read more at Harvard Review Online

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