Thomas Chandler, October 22, 2011 (view all comments by Thomas Chandler)
Annie Dillard is a brilliant writer, but this book -- a collection of meditations on writing -- meanders around her writing career, sometimes stopping for a minute or two to kick at the dirt.
Sprinkled throughout are stories about other writers and adventurers, and while some sparkle, others feel forced, left to dangle.
The Writing Life is not a how-to manual or a bulleted list of pointers for young writers (no one said it was) -- and it's clearly the kind of meditation that invites the writer to wander -- but while the prose is typically beautiful and the glimpses into her life are interesting, The Writing Life ultimately feels unfocused.
It's a thin book and because it's written by Annie Dillard the prose is at times breathtaking, but it doesn't reach the level of a book that will find a permanent place on my shelf.
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Janelle, July 16, 2007 (view all comments by Janelle)
This is a great book for anyone who has toyed with the idea of chucking their day job and moving to a cabin in the woods to write. Annie Dillard's honest look at the process of writing-the fun bits as well as the tedium, adds up to inspiration and insight into the day-to-day life of a writer. I enjoyed her honesty and easy to read style.
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With color, irony and sensitivity, Pulitzer prize-winner Annie Dillard illuminates the dedication absurdity, and daring that is the writer's life. As it probes and exposes, examines and analyzes, The Writing Life offers deeper insight into one of the most mysterious of professions.
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