If you want to understand how different Marilynne Robinson is from other contemporary novelists -- how different, in fact, from most contemporary human beings -- all you need to do is walk into her dining room.
"These are my favorite books in here," says the author of "Housekeeping," "Gilead" and the recently published "Home" as she motions toward the bookcase that fills one end of the small space. "See, look: Calvin, Calvin, Calvin."
Sure enough, here are the multivolume "Commentaries" of the great 16th-century Protestant theologian, whom Robinson considers one of the most falsely caricatured figures in history. Here are the two volumes of Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion," without which she thinks you can't understand Herman Melville. Surrounding these are a multitude of other theological and educational works, few less than a century old.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I love reading Marilynne Robinson. One of my favorite books in recent years is her novel Gilead. Her ability to write as an aging midwestern pastor is remarkable. The book is a moving account of a Lutheran pastor who, coming to the end of his life keeps an extensive journal to pass on to his young son. I commend it to your reading. You will be rewarded.
Home, Robinson's follow-up to Gilead is on my nightstand ready to be opened.
The Washington Post recently carried an interesting piece on the Pulitzer Prize winning author.
Read the entire article HERE.