First Perennial Library edition.
271 pages ; 21 cm
Originally published: New York : Harper's Magazine Press, 1974.
What is the true nature of Nature? Is it a harmonious, interconnected system, operating according to the principles of co-dependence and benevolence? Or is it red in tooth and claw -- an unfeeling, unthinking force, in which the individual is overwhelmed and subsumed to serve a larger purpose, one mysterious and obscure? This is what Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is all about: an exploration into the nature of Nature, an attempt to discover the true character of the natural world around us. Appropriately, it is neither a rapturous celebration of Nature, nor a grim survey of its various cruelties. Rather, like Nature itself, it is something in between -- and something quite beautiful. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, first published in 1974, has endured to become one of the great American classics of nonfiction writing. Roughly described, it is a collection of related essays recounting the author's thoughts on Nature as she observes the ecological happenings of the eponymous Tinker Creek for a period of several years. It is an unclassifiable mix of memoir, science, anthropology, folklore, philosophy, theology, ecology, and probably several other things that I didn't even pick up on. It is expansive, complex, and eclectic.