“I had to live on the lip of a waterfall, exhausted.”

Dillard2You might expect a coming-of-age book to have a plot, to describe the who-what-when-where-how-and-why. But Annie Dillard is not a typical person, nor is her book a typical memoir. She concentrated on describing how she wanted to notice and remember everything. Her goal was to “break up through the skin of awareness a thousand times a day, as dolphins burst through seas, and dive again, and rise, and dive.” (250). Hyper-aware, daring, stimulated, with a talent for passionate metaphors, she wrote, “Who could ever tire of this radiant transition, this surfacing to awareness and this deliberate plunging to oblivion?” (17)

Annie Dillard, An American Childhood (Harper Perennial, New York: 1987), p. 223.

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