Marilynne Robinson at the 2012 Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College.
November 26, 1943 |
Sandpoint, Idaho, United States
|Notable work(s)||Housekeeping (1980)
|Notable award(s)||Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award (1981)
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (2004)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2005)
Orange Prize for Fiction (2009)
Marilynne Summers Robinson (born November 26, 1943) is an American novelist and essayist.
Robinson (née Summers) was born and grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, and did her undergraduate work at Pembroke College, the former women's college at Brown University, receiving her B.A., magna cum laude in 1966, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington in 1977.
Robinson has written three highly acclaimed novels: Housekeeping (1980), Gilead (2004) and Home (2008). Housekeeping was a finalist for the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (US), Gilead was awarded the 2005 Pulitzer, and Home received the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction (UK). Home is a companion to Gilead and focuses on the Boughton family during the same time period.
She is also the author of non-fiction works including Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State, and Nuclear Pollution (1989), The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998), Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (2010), and When I Was a Child I Read Books: Essays (2012). She has written articles, essays and reviews for Harper’s, The Paris Review and The New York Times Book Review.
She has been writer-in-residence or visiting professor at many universities, including the University of Kent, Amherst, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst' MFA Program for Poets and Writers. In 2009, she held a Dwight H. Terry Lectureship at Yale University, giving a series of talks titled Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self. On April 19, 2010, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In May 2011, Robinson delivered Oxford University's annual Esmond Harmsworth Lecture in American Arts and Letters at the university's Rothermere American Institute. She currently teaches at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and lives in Iowa City. She was the keynote speaker for the Workshop's 75th anniversary celebration in June 2011. On February 18, 2013, she was the speaker at the Easter Convocation of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa.
Robinson was raised as a Presbyterian and later became a Congregationalist, worshipping and sometimes preaching at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Iowa City. Her Congregationalism, and her interest in the ideas of John Calvin, have been important in her works, including Gilead, which centers on the life and theological concerns of a fictional Congregationalist minister. In an interview with the Church Times in 2012, Robinson said: "I think, if people actually read Calvin, rather than read Max Weber, he would be rebranded. He is a very respectable thinker."
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has described Robinson as "one of the world's most compelling English-speaking novelists", and said: "Robinson's is a voice we urgently need to attend to in both Church and society here [in the UK]." On January 24, 2013, Robinson was announced to be among the finalists for the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.
- 1980: Housekeeping – Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for best first novel; nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
- 1999: The Death of Adam – PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
- 2004: Gilead – 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction; 2005 Ambassador Book Award
- 2006: The recipient of the 2006 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion.
- 2008: Home – 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction; finalist for the 2008 National Book Award.
- 2013: Nominated for the The Man Booker International Prize
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Marilynne Robinson|
- Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State, and Nuclear Pollution (1989)
- The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998)
- Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (2010)
- When I Was a Child I Read Books: Essays (2012)
- "History & Literature of the Pacific Northwest: Marilynne Robinson, 1943". Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington. Undated. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- Lister, Rachel (2006-10-21). "Marilynne Robinson (1947– )". The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- "Home by Marilynne Robinson".
- Dave Itzkoff, "Marilynne Robinson Wins Orange Prize", New York Times, June 3, 2009.
- "Marilynne Robinson interview: The faith behind the fiction", Reform, September 2010.
- "Marilynne Robinson", Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, September 18, 2009.
- "Marilynne Robinson", Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, March 18, 2005.
- Wroe, Martin, "A minister of the word", Church Times, 22 June 2012
- Williams, Rowan, "Mighty plea for reasonableness", Church Times, 12 August 2012
- Interview on Thinking Aloud, BBC 22 09 2010
- Radio Interview with Ramona Koval, The Book Show, ABC Radio National, (Australia) 31 10 2008. Accessed 2010-05-31
- Article – Interview of Robinson by Emily Bobrow, 2008
- Interview: A conversation with Marilynne Robinson 24 April 2006 Eastern Washington University
- Interview with Marilynne Robinson, 18 March 2005, in Religion and Ethics Newsweekly PBS
- An interview and a reading from Gilead, Assises Internationales du Roman, Lyon 2010 (La Clé des langues)
- Sarah Fay (Fall 2008). "The Art of Fiction No. 198". The Paris Review..
Essays and fiction
- My Western Roots – Essay by Marilynne Robinson, 1993. Northwest Schools of Literature at the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest.
- The God Delusion – article by Marilynne Robinson reprinted from Harper's Magazine, November, 2006
- Critical essay – "Marilynne Robinson's Psalms and Prophecy," from Open Letters Monthly
- "Connie Bronson" (1986) Short story in Paris Review.