Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Revisited
A year after it was published in 1974, Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction and subsequently was listed on Modern Library’s 100 Best Nonfiction Books. Dillard wrote Pilgrim after completing a master’s thesis on Thoreau’s Walden, and it is so much in the spirit of that American classic that writer Ed Abbey has called her Thoreau’s “true heir.” Although Dillard has said that she does not regard herself as a “nature writer,” she does uniquely combine fascinating nature observations with overarching philosophical and religious questions in a vibrant and highly charged first-person style. In this course, we will read and discuss Dillard’s Pilgrim, as well as a few short selections from her other writings. Our discussions will probe the themes and issues that pervade Dillard’s work and consider her place in the contemporary American literary landscape.
You'll Walk Away with
- An understanding of how Annie Dillard earned the mantle of Thoreau’s “true heir”
- An examination of the philosophical and religious questions raised by communing with nature
- The curious and creative
- All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between