Critical Context (Masterplots II: Juvenile & Young Adult Literature Series)

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 145

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard’s first volume of prose, was a national best-seller when it was first published in 1974 and won the Pulitzer Prize the following year. Although Dillard has published several popular volumes since—especially Holy the Firm (1977), Teaching a Stone to Talk (1982), Living by Fiction (1982), An American Childhood (1987), and The Writing Life (1989)—Pilgrim at Tinker Creek remains recognized by most readers as her masterpiece.

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There is much in the book, as can be seen by what different readers get from it. Orthodox religionists find in the book a reaffirmation of faith. Feminists discover it to be a declaration of female independence, a celebration of the differences that separate women from men. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is the range of its appeal: Although readers like it for very different reasons, all readers seem to like it.

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