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Lila Cover


By Marilynne Robinson

Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374187613, 261pp.

Publication Date: October 7, 2014


Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
National Book Award Finalist
A new American classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Gilead "and "Housekeeping"
Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder.
Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church-the only available shelter from the rain-and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.
Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand to mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to protect them. Despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves.
Revisiting the beloved characters and setting of Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Gilead "and "Home," a National Book Award finalist, "Lila" is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence that is destined to become an American classic.

About the Author
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels "Home," "Gilead "(winner of the Pulitzer Prize), and "Housekeeping," and four books of nonfiction, "When I Was a Child I Read Books," " Mother Country," "The Death of Adam," and "Absence of Mind." She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Praise For Lila

Praise for Home and Gilead

“An anguished pastoral, a tableau of decency and compassion that is also an angry and devastating indictment of moral cowardice and unrepentant, unacknowledged sin . . . Beautiful.” —A. O. Scott, The New York Times Book Review

“Marilynne Robinson is so powerful a writer that she can reshape how we read.” —Mark Athitakis, Chicago Sun-Times

Wednesday, Oct 8, 2014

Marilynne Robinson's fourth novel is a prequel to 2004's Gilead: That book told the Rev. John Ames' family story and this book tells the story of his wife. More at

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