I wish it weren’t true, but I finally cried “No Mas” in my effort to read “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” the Pulitzer Prize wining novel by Annie Dillard. There is no denying the woman can flat our write; I think here greatest strength in her vivid descriptions. I was repeatedly impressed with her creative, compelling prose and shared an example here. One particular passage rattled around my Cerebellum for weeks and I’ll occasionally think about it still. I didn’t quit because she committed one of the 9 Reasons Why Readers Stop Reading, I quit because I didn’t care anymore.
I’ve had friends tell me Sushi is a must-eat, scrumptious delicacy but I have as much interest in eating uncooked fish as a kindergarten teacher has in working at Chuck-E-Cheese. Dillard’s memoir is rich with botanical and biological descriptions that I desperately tried to care about, but it was simply too much for my tastes. It felt like I mentioned a cool beetle to an enthusiastically verbose coleopterist and spending the rest of my evening bombarded with facts about Golden Stags and Long Nose Weevils.
I really hate to sound critical, because I have absolutely zero criticism for Annie Dillard or her work; I just wasn’t interested in the subject matter even though she writes so beautifully. Ironically, I would recommend her book and have done so a few times already. She’s a deep, deep thinker, a lover of nature, and a gifted wordsmith, but I found myself craving a novel. Maybe it’s just who I am? I prefer Kraft Mac & Cheese over the home-made stuff, burgers with only ketchup, and my dumb phone over his “smart” cousins. So maybe a Pulitzer isn’t in my future, but a best seller just might be.