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Elizabeth McCracken | Annie Dillard


Begins July 23, 2020 Online

Elizabeth McCracken | Annie Dillard, The Maytrees

Elizabeth's daily posts for the book club can be found here.

Like all of my favorite books, The Maytrees is hard to describe: its plot is time, really, but it's about empathy and marriage and divorce and love and the consolations of art. It begins with the courtship of Lou Bigelow and Toby Maytree, who marry and move to Provincetown and become the eponymous Maytrees (other Maytrees follow) and it's full of remarkable characters and remarkable sentences. Some slim novels are spare and clean (I love those, too) but The Maytrees is crammed full, like an old New England house filled with geegaws and books and bricabrac. Above all, it is an intensely beautiful book.

Reading Schedule
Day 1 | July 23: Prologue & Preface to page 9 (through "She was outside his reach.")

Day 2 | July 24: Pages 11-29 (through "The more she saw of the Provincetown school, the more she favored grisailles.")

Day 3 | July 25: Pages 31-43 (through "Maytree was tall, and Sooner was strong as Babe Ruth.")

Day 4 | July 26: Pages 45-59 (through "Perhaps, she asked later, he never did?")

Day 5 | July 27: Start of Part I, pages 61-74 (through "Goodnight, Lou.")

Day 6 | July 28: Pages 75-89 (through "She should have lashed her elbows and knees, like Aletus.")

Day 7 | July 29: Pages 91-103 (including “interlude," through "Or was she of this earth, earthy?")

Day 8 | July 30: Pages 105-119 (through "An unfair sample.")

Day 9 | July 31: Pages 121-133 ("In the meantime she cleared the landing strip.")

Day 10 | August 1: Start of Part II, pages 135-152 (through "He fell asleep.")

Day 11 | August 2: Pages 153-171 (through "Do you believe it?")

Day 12 | August 3: Start of Part III, pages 173-198 (through "Her inquiry was: What did she hope?")

Day 13 | August 4: Pages 199-216 (The End)

Elizabeth McCracken

is the author of six books. Her seventh, The Souvenir Museum, a collection of stories, will be published in April 2021.

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