Annie Dillard Biography

Annie Dillard (born Meta Ann Doak) is an American author best known for her 1974 book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Dillard has written 13 books including several non-fiction works, a memoir, a novel, and poetry. Her other books include An American Childhood (a memoir, 1987) and The Writing Life (non-fiction, 1989).

Annie was born on April 30, 1945, in Pittsburgh, US. Her father Frank Doak was a businessman while her mother Pam was a homemaker. She had a comfortable childhood. In her autobiography, An American Childhood, she remembers reading a variety of subjects including entomology, geology, and poetry among many others.

She attended Hollins College in Virginia where earned a B.A (in 1967) and a Master’s degree in English (in 1968).

She published her non-fiction work, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, in 1974 when she was 29 years old.  Pilgrim at Tinker Creek became an overnight success. It won a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1975.

The book contains her observations and experiences during a time she spent at Tinker Creek in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The book is often compared to Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.

From 1975 to 1979, she taught at Western Washington University in Bellingham before joining the Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1980. She taught English at Wesleyan University for 21 years (1980 to 2002).

During this period, she produced various other works including her autobiography, An American Childhood (1987) and The Writing Life (1989).

Further Reading

Check out the articles below for quotes by Annie Dillard and other accomplished writers.

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  • Sources Cited for Annie Dillard’s biography

Annie Dillard Official Website Curriculum Vitae

Connecticut’s Women’s Hall of Fame Annie Dillard

History Link Annie Dillard