Book Review: The Abundance by Annie Dillard

I’ve tried to write this review a dozen times now. But how do you summarize and evaluate a book that so thoroughly and immediately permeated your innermost thoughts that it is now one of the chorus of silent voices in your head? It’s a dilemma similar to the one I experience when living in Asia a few years ago. People want to know what it’s like, how your day to day is different from your life before, what you see and hear and smell, who you talk to… But it’s just your daily life. How do you explain it?

The Abundance, a collection of essays, is the work of my greatest inspirations, Annie Dillard. Abundance is curated by the author herself, some of the articles published in previous works, some brand new to the public eye. Every one of them seemed to echo or illuminate secret thoughts and experiences from my own life. And all she did was write openly, honestly, about life.

The two essays in particular which rocked the earth beneath my feet spoke of two experiences, a total lunar eclipse Ms. Dillard witnessed in the 70’s, and her experience with adolescence. The story of the eclipse transported me. The story of adolescence broke through decades of loneliness and secret shame and set me free.

Everyone should read Annie Dillard. Start with An American Childhood. Graduate next to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Sip and savor The Abundance.

Then call me.

We’ll meet for coffee.

We’ll chat.

About eclipses and pursuits on foot through deep winter snows and vicious waterbug attacks. We’ll talk about Abundance.

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