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The Resource The Maytrees, Annie Dillard

The Maytrees, Annie Dillard

Label
The Maytrees
Title
The Maytrees
Statement of responsibility
Annie Dillard
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2007.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2007
Review
  • /*Starred Review*/ 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. -- Donna Seaman (Reviewed 02-01-2007) (Booklist, vol 103, number 11, p4)
  • /* Starred Review */ Lou Bigelow meets her husband-to-be, Toby Maytree, when Toby returns to Provincetown following WWII. In the house Lou inherits from her mother, they read, cook soup, play games with friends, vote and raise a child. Toby writes poetry and does odd jobs; Lou paints. Their unaffected bohemianism fits right in with the Provincetown landscape, which Dillard, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek , describes with an offhand but deep historical sense. Years into the marriage, Toby suddenly decamps to Maine with another local woman, Deary Hightoe; flash forward six years to Lou reading Toby's semimonthly letters (and Deary's marginal notes) "with affectionate interest." Dillard, stripping the story to bare facts-plus-backdrop, is after something beyond character and beyond love, though she evokes Lou and Toby's beautifully. Thus, when Deary's heart falters 20 years later and Toby brings her home to Lou for hospice care, Lou puts up water for tea and gets going. She feels too much, not too little, for mere drama, although people who don't know her misread her. In short, simple sentences, Dillard calls on her erudition as a naturalist and her grace as poet to create an enthralling story of marriage—particular and universal, larky and monumental. (June) --Staff (Reviewed February 5, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 6, p36)
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek ) is best known for her nonfiction; this 11th book, set on Cape Cod, is a fictional account of a broken family. The plot follows the courtship and marriage of Toby Maytree and Lou Bigelow, who fall in love and settle near Provincetown shortly after World War II. Good-looking, unconventional, and brainy, Toby and Lou share an intense appreciation of the natural world—the Cape's wild sand dunes are major players in the novel—yet husband and wife live most vividly within their own minds, a trait strongly reflected in Pete, their only child. When Toby impulsively leaves with another woman to settle in Maine, none of the Maytrees really knows how to cope. Many years pass before tragedy propels them to achieve reunion and redemption based on selfless love. The poetic language, close observations of nature, and moving, family-centered theme in this short, low-key novel should appeal to a wide readership. Recommended for most fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/07.]—Starr E. Smith, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA --Starr E. Smith (Reviewed March 15, 2007) (Library Journal, vol 132, issue 5, p56)
  • /* Starred Review */ An anthropologist's eye and a poet's precision distinguish this superbly written novel, exploring the ritual complexities of life, love and death.In only her second novel (after The Living, 1992), the Pulitzer Prize–winning essayist/memoirist (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 1974, etc.) provides a portrait of a relationship as it weathers the decades and endures twists and turns both unexpected and common. In almost fairy-tale fashion, Dillard details the romance in Cape Cod's Provincetown between Lou Bigelow and Toby Maytree, who seem fated to fall in love. She's beautiful, though as Toby and the reader learn, she's so much more. He's a few years older, an aspiring poet, and initially tongue-tied and dumbstruck around Lou. They marry and have a son whom they both adore. Life is perfect—perhaps too perfect. Maybe people who idealize each other to such an extent can't know each other too well. Not only do Toby and Lou surprise themselves, they surprise their tightly knit community, whose quirky characters are themselves full of surprises. Little goes as Toby and Lou had planned when they were younger and enraptured. Twenty years after one of them betrays the other and moves to Maine, they ultimately reunite, on an even deeper level than what they had earlier known. With a penchant for alliteration and a refusal to pass moral judgments, Dillard renders her characters as flawed humans trying to make sense of the lives they are living but cannot understand. In the process, she examines the essence of beauty and the nature of death, the fate that all her characters face and the common denominator that perhaps defines each of them.The compact, elliptical narrative will continue to pervade the reader's consciousness long after the novel ends. (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2007)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
161497
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Dillard, Annie
Dewey number
811/.54
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3554.I398
LC item number
M39 2007
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Families
  • Artists
Target audience
adult
Label
The Maytrees, Annie Dillard
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
"A portion of this work has previously appeared, in different form, in Harper's magazine"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
216 pages
Isbn
9780061239533
Isbn Type
(acid-free paper)
Lccn
2006052599
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 76786885
  • (OCoLC)76786885
Label
The Maytrees, Annie Dillard
Publication
Copyright
Note
"A portion of this work has previously appeared, in different form, in Harper's magazine"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
216 pages
Isbn
9780061239533
Isbn Type
(acid-free paper)
Lccn
2006052599
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 76786885
  • (OCoLC)76786885

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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