09 April 2007

New Dillard

Thanks to Brook, I now know that Annie Dillard has not only updated her website, but has recently published a new book!

To whit:
FORTHCOMING APRIL 5---a SHORT novel of lifelong love in marriage, set on Cape Cod among the Provincetown artists' colony people, starting in the 1940's.
Checking in at Amazon, I see that the release date has been pushed up to 1 June (and will also be an unabridged audiobook). Here's what Booklist has to say:
Dillard, a member in good standing of the school of Emerson and Thoreau, reads the living world with the elevated attention accorded sacred texts. This habit of mind shapes her prized nonfiction, from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974) to For the Time Being (1999), and underlies her fiction, first, in The Living (1992), a historical saga set in the Pacific Northwest. And now in this rhapsodic novel of our times set on Cape Cod and portraying free-spirited characters dazzled by the sea, stars, sun, wind, and dunes. Deary, a country-club escapee, sleeps in the sand's cradling embrace. Poet Toby Maytree cherishes the beach shack his coast guard father built, which is where he takes beautiful and meditative Lou, launching a epic love. Dillard's gift for combining scientific precision with soul-stirring lyricism has never been more beguiling and philosophically resonant. Can Lou and Maytree's seaside idyll last? Yes and no. Broken bones and broken promises do not altogether slay love, or dispel osmotic understanding. The ocean gives, takes, gives back. Lou is an anchorite, free of clock time and clutter, devoted to the story of the land. Maytree is a voyager who, in old age, returns home. In this mythic and transfixing tale, Dillard wryly questions notions of love, exalts in life's metamorphoses, and celebrates goodness. As she casts a spell sensuous and metaphysical, Dillard covertly bids us to emulate may trees--the resilient hawthorn--the tree of joy, of spring, of the heart.
This review sounds a bit too...sweet for Dillard. If her last published work of fiction, "The Two of Them," is any indication, this new novel will be a searing work of beauty.

Incidentally, "The Two of Them" was published in Harper's November 2003 issue. (As Maud said, "Looks like I do have that 17 bucks, after all"!)

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