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An American Childhood: Reviewed

Author:Annie Dillard
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 12 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 12 and up
Genre:non-fiction
Year of publication:1988

Annie Dillard aims her clear scientist's eyes and the evocative Voice of the Pilgrim At Tinker Creek at the lives of upper class families with children in Pittsburgh, PA in the fifties. She reveals a great deal about Pittsburgh; and just about nothing about herself.

As long as one isn't determined to read this as an autobiography, it will not disappoint.

Dillard's reflections on the differences between her fascination with the French and Indian War versus her obsession with reading about World War II (one was history, the other was an open wound), about the good that Andrew Carnegie did for the people of Pittsburgh and the good that he could have done if he'd made different choices, about her father's aborted trip down the Mississippi, and, especially, about Dillard's growing awareness as she grew up that Pittsburgh high society was not the box she wanted to be in -- made me grateful to have read this book.



Other reviews: An American Childhood
 
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