"[An American Childhood] combines the child's sense of wonder with the adult's intelligence and is written in some of the finest prose that exists in contemporary America. It is a special sort of memoir that is entirely successful...This new book is [Annie Dillard's] best, a joyous ode to her own happy childhood." — Chicago Tribune
A book that instantly captured the hearts of readers across the country, An American Childhood is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard's poignant, vivid memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s and 60s.
Dedicated to her parents - from whom she learned a love of language and the importance of following your deepest passions - this narrative tale will resonate for everyone who has ever recalled with longing playing baseball on an endless summer afternoon, caring for a pristine rock collection, or knowing in your heart that a book was written just for you.
Dillard's luminous prose painlessly captures the pain of growing up in this wonderful evocation of childhood. Her memoir is partly a hymn to Pittsburgh, where orange streetcars ran on Penn Avenue in 1953 when she was eight, and where the Pirates were always in the cellar. Dillard's mother, an unstoppable force, had energies too vast for the bridge games and household chores that stymied her. Her father made low-budget horror movies, loved Dixieland jazz, told endless jokes and sight-gags and took lonesome river trips down to New Orleans to get away. From this slightly odd couple, Dillard (Teaching a Stone to Talk acquired her love of nature and taut sensitivity. The events of childhood often loom larger than life; the magic of Dillard's writing is that she sets down typical childhood happenings with their original immediacy and force.
Uninteresting and Bland
I'm reading this for a class and simply I can barely even sit through it. The details are stretched absurdly long and there is no particular rhyme or reason to any of it. It is literally just this girls life, and I cannot comprehend how anyone could care enough about that normal life enough to read this and enjoy it. There is nothing interesting to be seen throughout.
Some of it is relatable in that yeah, she grows up and all, and I guess thats a big thing for her, but to include every single excruciating, useless, boring detail of her childhood is infuriating to read. I could care less that one time she went out to Florida and saw this one type of super specific bird and then did nothing to elaborate on it. Why is this something worth mentioning? Why should I care? I hated reading this.