Marilynne Robinson Archive
“Fourteen years ago I left my job at a publicly traded company and began life as a freelancer. In all these years I have been trying to get to what Jenny Odell calls the ‘third space,’ an arena of both participation in and resistance to society.”
In the earliest years of parenting, the tensions between motherhood and artistic practice can feel insurmountable. Yet there are ways in which motherhood and the writing life are uniquely compatible.
Robinson’s novels are like glaciers. They move slowly, but they leave behind a transformed landscape. In the vast and complex landscape of American novel-writing, Marilynne Robinson’s is a unique and indispensable terrain.
The house is often used as a symbol of security in literature, and a ruined home can speak to what a given writer thinks we need protection from. Both the threats to security, and the emotional impact of a literary ruin shift with the writer and her cultural moment.
Anyone who is a writer is also a researcher. Stories sprung from one’s imagination are not exempt from these duties. Fiction writers frequently write about a time and place they know—think Conrad and the Congo in The Heart of Darkness or Harper Lee and the rural South. Similarly, writers
Recently, an interview that Barack Obama gave in 1995—which was republished in The New Yorker just before the Presidential Inauguration in 2009—made the rounds on social media again.
Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead became my favorite novel a decade ago. I read the first half the book in Iowa City and the second half the book in Wichita, Kansas, which undoubtedly brought the narrator’s prairie landscape to life. I lived the book in solitude, existing with Reverend John Ames
Literary Enemies: Flannery O’Connor vs. Marilynne Robinson Disclaimer: Marilynne Robinson has no enemies. I hope you’ve never compared Marilynne Robinson to Flannery O’Connor, but I can see how you might have been tempted. There’s Iowa, first of all, and if it weren’t a proper noun I would have capitalized