Holy the Firm

Annie Dillard

Holy the Firm (eBook ISBN 9781782117742) book cover

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The Pulitzer Prize-winner’s highly celebrated and profound exploration of the natural world, both its beauty and its cruelty

In 1975 Annie Dillard took up residence on an island in Puget Sound in a wooden room - one enormous window, one cat, one spider and one person. For the next two years she asked herself questions about time, reality, sacrifice and death. In Holy the Firm she writes about a moth consumed in a candle flame, about a seven-year-old girl burned in an aeroplane accident, about a baptism on a cold beach. But behind the moving curtain of what she calls ‘the hard things - rock mountain and salt sea’, she sees, sometimes far off and sometimes as close by as a veil or air, the power play of holy fire.

Holy the Firm is a profound and breathtaking book about the natural world by a Pulitzer Prize winner and one of the most influential figures in contemporary non-fiction.


“A rare and precious book”
new York Times Book Review

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“Dillard’s style is spirited and gale-force. She raps out her opinions; lyrical, gleeful, cymbal-clashing, peppery. The best thing is her glee, a pied-piperish glee at being in the world, which she evokes better than anyone else”
Robert Macfarlane

” Dillard opens our eyes to the world and to new ways of articulating what we see”
Geoff Dyer

“The trouble with hasty people like me is that we charge through our time on earth without noticing it. It was Annie Dillard who got me, before it was too late, to pay attention to where I was before I lost it. So I did. What abundance!”
Richard Holloway

“Annie Dillard is one of those people who seem to be more fully alive than most of us, more nearly wide-awake than human beings generally get to be”
new York Times


Annie Dillard

Annie Dillard was born in 1945 in Pennsylvania. She is a much-celebrated poet, novelist and essayist and author of thirteen books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was awarded the 2014 National Humanities Medal for her work deepening the understanding of the human experience.



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