Following a novel, a memoir, and a book of poems, Annie Dillard returns to a form of nonfiction she has made her own--now, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the Pulitzer Prize-winningPilgrim at Tinker Creek. This personal narrative surveys the panorama of our world, past and present. Here is a natural history of sand, a catalogue of clouds, a batch of newborns on an obstetrical ward, a family of Mongol horsemen. Here is the story of Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin digging in the deserts of China. Here is the story of Hasidic thought rising in Eastern Europe. Here are defect and beauty together, miracle and tragedy, time and eternity. Dillard poses questions about God, natural evil, and individual existence. Personal experience, science, and religion bear on a welter of fact. How can an individual matter? How might one live? Compassionate, informative, enthralling, always surprising,For the Time Beingshows one of our most original writers--her breadth of knowledge matched by keen powers of observation, all of it informing her relentless curiosity--in the fullness of her powers.