By Marilynne Robinson
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312424404, 256pp.)
Publication Date: January 10, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson's beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows "even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order" (Slate). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.
Gilead is the winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the modern classic Housekeeping--winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award--and two books of nonfiction, Mother Country (FSG, 1989) and The Death of Adam. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.
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- What was your perception of the narrator in the opening paragraphs? In what ways did your understanding of him change throughout the novel? Did John's own perception of his life seem to evolve as well?
At a moment in cultural history dominated by the shallow, the superficial, the quick fix, Marilynne Robinson is a miraculous anomaly: a writer who thoughtfully, carefully, and tenaciously explores some of the deepest questions confronting the human species. . . . Poignant, absorbing, lyrical...Robinson manages to convey the miracle of existence itself.
Incandescent . . . magnificent . . . [a] literary miracle.
Rapturous . . . astonishing . . . Gilead is an inspired work from a writer whose sensibility seems steeped in holy fire.
Lyrical and meditative . . . potently contemplative.
You must read this book. . . . Altogether unlike any other work of fiction, it has sprung forth more than twenty years after Housekeeping with what I can only call amazing grace.
So serenely beautiful and written in a prose so gravely measured and thoughtful, that one feels touched with grace just to read it.
There are passages here of such profound, hard-won wisdom and spiritual insight that they make your own life seem richer. . . . Gilead [is] a quiet, deep celebration of life that you must not miss.
Gilead is a refuge for readers longing for that increasingly rare work of fiction, one that explores big ideas while telling a good story. As John Ames might point out, it's a remarkable thing to consider.