The Maytrees

The Maytrees In spare elegant prose Dillard traces the lives of Toby and Lou Maytree She presents willed bonds of loyalty friendship and abiding love Warm and hopeful The Maytrees is the surprising capstone o

In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the lives of Toby and Lou Maytree She presents willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love Warm and hopeful, The Maytrees is the surprising capstone of Annie Dillard s original body of work.Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts Her laughter and loveliness catch his breaIn spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the lives of Toby and Lou Maytree She presents willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love Warm and hopeful, The Maytrees is the surprising capstone of Annie Dillard s original body of work.Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him Hands off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees decades of loving and longing They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts Lou takes up painting When their son Petie appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him But years later it is Deary who causes the town to talk In this moving novel, Dillard intimately depicts nature s vastness and nearness She presents willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love Warm and hopeful, The Maytrees is the surprising capstone of Annie Dillard s original body of work.

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The Maytrees

  1. Annie Dillard born April 30, 1945 is an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non fiction She has published works of poetry, essays, prose, and literary criticism, as well as two novels and one memoir Her 1974 work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction Dillard taught for 21 years in the English department of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut from

411 Reply to “The Maytrees”

  1. Onvan The Maytrees Nevisande Annie Dillard ISBN 61239534 ISBN13 9780061239533 Dar 216 Safhe Saal e Chap 2007

  2. I got myself in a snit over the review in the NY Times Book Review and sent the editor the following To the Editor Certainly Annie Dillard s new novel, The Maytrees, deserved a perceptive indeed, a proficient reader than Ms Reed July 29 One wonders if she has ever considered the punning irony of her name, as she managed to stumble upon the key sentences of the novel under review, failed to recognize their import, and then admitted in print to being unable to parse them Then there are passages [...]

  3. It s hard to know what to make of this book you can let yourself to be taken in by its beautiful prose and wallow in its lyricism or to delight in the precise, glowing descriptions of landscapes and seascapes and emotional states of mind But if you re into creating writing, perhaps not as a course but you have internalized its rules from reading too much genre, you may be angry that Dillard breaks all the rules she mostly tells rather than shows never mind that the telling is luminous And her ti [...]

  4. It was long ago that I bought the book, on a long, lone roadtrip southwest, in a favorite bookstore alongside the Rockies I held it, carried it, kept it on my coffeetable, my nightstand, prolonging the sweet anticipation, knowing the coming reward I have been no hyperbole in awe of Annie Dillard from the first encounter, decades ago, with Pilgrim at Tinker Creek winning Dillard the Pulitzer Prize Finally, oh finally, picking up what I expect may be her final novel I heard her interview on NPR at [...]

  5. Why surprise Is all fair Is love blind Why sadder but wiser What else could wisdom be These are some of Annie Dillard s profound questions in Maytrees Here are some of mine What is pomposity Why care Are big words better than appropriate small words Whither quotation marks Will you ever stop asking short, choppy questions and tell a readable story While I recognized a few short flashes of genius in the writing some touches of real beauty, occasional moments of poetry, and select insights into h [...]

  6. Annie Dillard is simply the best living creative non fiction writer She has the rare ability to put common experiences and abstract emotions into words, and the structure and beauty of her sentences are pretty well unrivaled If you don t believe me, pick up An American Childhood or Pilgrim at Tinker Creek both books about everyday experiences that Dillard makes wondrous Over the years, I think I ve read every nonfiction book she s written Still, can she write fiction The Maytrees is her second f [...]

  7. Sometime last fall, I read a review of this book in which the reviewer criticized Dillard s arcane and at times unintelligable syntax I remember the reviewer essentially quoting an entire paragraph, then writing What does this mean I began this book committed to proving the reviewer wrong At first, I was worried Too many passages were bewildering, vague, and opaque But as I got going, I began to appreciate Dillard s willingness to leave things unexplained, to let some phrases and sentences funct [...]

  8. In post war Cape Cod Toby Maytree meets Lou Bigelow and falls in love They create a life and family, surrounded by friends and adoration for one another They are a well educated, well read, talented couple who do not live to make money but who want to know the full meaning of love in all aspects.It almost sounds hokey.But Toby ultimately finds what he is looking for outside of Lou and what they have created is torn apart Their lives and their feelings for each other ebb like the flow of water, t [...]

  9. Good and strange I felt a bit cheated by Annie The book is strangely ungrounded snippets and particles of tangible story throughout, but somehow lacking any GLUE, anything to make my heart move I can t critique the content or the language as usual her language is almost separate FROM her writing it is as though she uses words and language in and of themselves and doesn t always concern herself with where it leads or what they do.The analogy that keeps coming to my mind is a brilliant film that s [...]

  10. I m a big fan of Annie Dillard s, and I saw this book recommended first in a book by Joe Queenan One for the Books and then on a Boston Globe summer reading list Jumping genres is a tricky business, though, and the non fiction champ Dillard doesn t cross over seamlessly to the novel, I don t think.First of all, the book covers its main characters entire lifetimes yet weighs in at a mere 216 pp paperback This means Dillard is in telling mode than she is showing mode It also means plot is negligi [...]

  11. For a book about love, it s kind of a downer There are too many exquisite lines to put this into a waste of time category, but as a whole, I can t claim this to be a favorite.What I enjoyed was Dillard s ability to put a unique feel to common experiences For instance, when Maytree looked at his wife, she wrote, After their first year or so, Lou s beauty no longer surprised him He never stopped looking, because her face was his eyes home Or That he did not possess her childhood drove him wild Who [...]

  12. This book has gotten a lot of good reviews, but I was a little disappointed I have not read any other books by Annie Dillard her writing is poetic maybe too poetic Sometimes it was just confusing, a bit too stream of consciousness I became a bit detached observing myself reading the book, instead of enjoying the book.That said, it is a pretty good story, a quick read, and I liked it enough to recommend it as a beach read or something to take on a plane or train to pass 3 4 hours.

  13. UghDillard says she s not going to write another book as this is, in her opinion, the best work she s ever produced She cut the manuscript back from 1000 pages to its present form, which is way too choppy and terse for my liking This could have been an interesting story about how love changes as people change but the writing made it hard to focus on the narrative and characters

  14. I really love Annie Dillard I cannot express how Pilgrim at Tinker Creek shook my world, only to say that I refuse to let anyone borrow my worn paperback copy not because I m worried about not getting it back, but because I am so mortified by some of the 18 year old thoughts I scribbled in the margins the first time read it That s how bad it is.So, it s hard to express my level of disappointment with The Maytrees It s a book that is far to contemplative to be fiction, let alone a story about lov [...]

  15. She could not sleep Should she pretend to find it all difficult, and not so much a matter of course, to ease his chagrin, or at least to make it seem apt She declined this ploy as tiresome Or did he think so poorly of her, and so well of himself, that he fancied his chucking her and Pete for Deary had left her ruined and angry for twenty years Surely he knew her better than that Surely or else he really would insult her Dillard s novel attempts to address the questions of romantic, platonic, and [...]

  16. I can t say I loved or hated this book It is painfully beautiful The story is painful to read, and Dillard s exquisite writing makes it even so I read most of it on a train from Seattle to Portland in the March rain It was visceral I could not finish it on the train, and when I finally did complete it at home, I didn t know how I felt.The writing is simply beyond praise I was vaguely dissatisfied with the characters some aspects of the plot Dillard uses her story to ask and dissect and leave un [...]

  17. The Maytrees by Annie Dillard is a stunning work of fiction, following a couple through their life, both together and apart I like these kind of novels, where quiet, profound moments lead toward something greater than it s parts.The author s use of language takes your breath away She is a truly gifted novel who packs a whole lot of impact into a tiny novel The sheer depth of this novel is astounding Absolutely lovely novel.Lou Bigelow and Toby Maytree marry and create a life in Cape Code, beauti [...]

  18. John Hess says this is a once in 10 years bookd now that I ve finished, I agree with him It s hard to even start to describe my response to this book Annie Dillard is a master of elegant, but simple phrasing and word choices, there is poetry in the total of her writing Her characters become real, her landscape becomes your own Her ability to weave in love, loss, forgiveness, hope the human condition that s what will stay with me.

  19. I m glad I wasn t the only one who bothered to look up pauciloquy on page 70, and was bothered to note that this 110.00 word meaning brevity of speech was not only archaic as of 1913 and misspelled Dillard spells it pauciloquoy , but also not as good a word choice as terseness IMHO Not only does this word describe Lou s character to a T, but also describes the writing style in this book that pretends to be a poem, but happily is not.So the book is a bit decadent in word choice and meter Dillard [...]

  20. I just finished reading this book, and I m sure I ve got to let it resonate a bit First, let me say, this is an important book to read Annie Dillard is doing something really interesting here, but I m not sure quite what it is which is part of the quiet and beauty of the novel.There is one plot twist at the beginning which I won t give away , but I think it was a brave direction for Dillard to take At some times, I liked the distance from the characters They live in their heads, and we feel rath [...]

  21. I hesitated to describe this novel as contemporary because it feels historical, elegiac, although the time period it is set in is not that long ago 1950s 1970s Provincetown, Cape Cod but with such a rural, unmodern feel to it Toby and Lou are the Maytrees of the title but if the book is about their love affair and marriage, it must also be acknowledged that their marriage doesn t even last for half of the novel There is very little plot to this novel even the big event when Toby runs off with th [...]

  22. Toby and Lou Maytree, meet, fall in love and marry, in post war Cape Cod The second half of the novel, shows them drifting apart Much of Dillard s prose is lovely but the tone of the book feels cool and aloof The characters are kept at a distance Silhouettes I wanted depth and feeling This may work better in poetry but I don t think it fits here, although other readers have praised this novel highly.I loved Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, so I wonder if she writes better nonfiction I did not dislike i [...]

  23. A read for the month of May May be O image error imported MAYTREESspringtbrfamiliesfilty lucre lack of fraudiopost wwIIpoetryromanceboffThis has been given the sickly Woman s Hour treatment all background soft piano and slowly read by an empathy oozing soft male voice Honey with that sugar, dearie

  24. Towards the conclusion of Annie Dillard s novel, The Maytrees, a character contemplates writing a book length poem He chooses There Will Be a Sea Battle Tomorrow for his title Dillard points out that he s referencing Aristotle s problem basically, how true are statements about the future Is the battle fought tomorrow or not Is either statement true, until the event actually occurs Is Schr dinger s cat alive or dead What s going on inside that black box The whole book goes on like this Dillard st [...]

  25. Is Annie Dillard a philosopher A poet A naturalist Or a storyteller It s difficult to determine by the reading of her most recently penned novel, The Maytrees Of those four distinctions, Annie s storytelling seems to be the weakest, apparently used only as a vehicle by which she might display her other gifts.The novel is billed as a love story, the romantic history of Lou and Toby Maytree Dialogue is spare, almost non existent In its place we are invited to share the inner ruminatings of the poe [...]

  26. Dense, tricky, poetic, so far, and she quotes Robert Louis Stevenson Marriage is a sort of friendship recognised by the police .Well I can imagine readers not liking this, calling it pretentious pompous, because it deals with the big questions, what is love, life, death It uses sometimes obscure words to me anyway, looked up a few, eg alewife, and after I did I realised how apt they were The narrative flows but jumps years and years and leaves out important stages It directly quotes philosophers [...]

  27. The Maytrees is a curious book The storyline is sparse, but it is only a gossamer vehicle for the prose, the grandiloquence of language I was not bothered by the non linearity of the narrative, but, I was, at times, annoyed by the inconsistencies of the timeline Her sentences were staccato, ranging from the caliginous to the nacreous to the opaque I was not bothered by the vocabulary, although vast, but I was by some of the unusual wrong usage She is, incontrovertibly, an unrequited and unrepent [...]

  28. This is a book I will remember That said, the first third of the book was a bit of slog, and I do have a few complaints But all in all it s a beautiful story.It s an introspective and consuming look into life, love and death.It seems to me that we learn about the characters in a novel via three vehicles what they do, what they say, and what they think This book leans heavily on the latter From what I know about Annie Dillard an introspective recluse , this is not a surprise.Despite my high regar [...]

  29. I cannot handle this book The syntax is confusing and it s so poetic it s cloying There s a great passage about Lou growing breasts early and young and how she thought of boys as bumper cars man I wish I d come up with that image Otherwise, I was annoyed I have so many other books to read and I am only getting older Moving on.

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