Annie Dillard spoke to NPR’s Scott Simon about her new novel The Maytrees, and about the craft of writing in general. Known primarily for her non-fiction (An American Childhood, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek), Dillard has spent most of her time writing fiction in recent years. Still, as she tells Simon, this most recent effort took ten years to complete and “nearly killed me.”
In this interview, she discusses how she pares down her sentences to their basic forms, always looking for fewer and fewer syllables.
Dillard rarely grants interviews, so it’s a treat to actually listen to this consummate practitioner of the writing craft. She says The Maytrees will be her final book. One hopes that this is a premature retirement, but while listening to her, I couldn’t help but think that she might be serious.
Listen to the interview here.