Marilynne Robinson

Award-winning novelist and essayist



Marilynne Robinson is the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, for “her grace and intelligence in writing.” She is the author of Gilead, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award; Home, winner of the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her first novel, Housekeeping, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Robinson’s nonfiction books include The Givenness of Things, When I Was a Child I Read Books, Absence of Mind, The Death of Adam, and Mother Country.

Robinson began teaching at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1991 and retired in the spring of 2016. In 2016, Robinson was named in Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa. In March 2021, Oprah announced The Gilead Novels as Oprah’s Book Club Picks. Oprah recognized Robinson as “one of our greatest living authors” and referred to The Gilead novels as “masterpieces”.

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HARDCOVER
JACK A Novel
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Jack is Robinson’s fourth novel in this now-classic series. In it, Robinson tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead’s Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher.


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GILEAD A Novel
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

GILEAD is a hymn of praise and lamentation to the God-haunted existence that Reverend Ames loves passionately, and from which he will soon part.


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Lila A Novel
Picador

Lila is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence that is destined to become an American classic.


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HOMEA Novel
Picador

Home is a luminous and healing book about families, family secrets, and faith from one of America's most beloved and acclaimed authors.


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Picador

What Are We Doing Here? is a call for Americans to continue the tradition of those great thinkers and to remake American political and cultural life as “deeply impressed by obligation [and as] a great theater of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still.”


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Picador

The incomparable Marilynne Robinson has delivered an impassioned critique of contemporary society—our addiction to technology, our materialism—while arguing that reverence must be given to who we are and what we are: creatures of singular interest and value, despite our errors and depredations.


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Picador

Marilynne Robinson has built a sterling reputation as not only a major American novelist but also a rigorous thinker and an incisive essayist.


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THE DEATH OF ADAM Essays on Modern Thought
Picador

In this award-winning collection, the bestselling author of Gilead offers us other ways of thinking about history, religion, and society.


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Picador

A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt.


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MOTHER COUNTRYBritain, the Welfare State and Nuclear Pollution
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The central question of this eloquently impassioned book is: How can a country that we persist in calling a welfare state consciously risk the lives of its people for profit.


A Conversation with Marilynne Robinson Marilynne can speak to the craft of writing novels and her prolific writing career.



Check out Marilynne’s writing in The New York Review

Read Marilynne’s feature on Oprahdaily

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Praise for Jack “For Marilynne Robinson’s devotees, John Ames Boughton, the titular Jack of the fourth volume of her award-winning Gilead novels, is one of the most eagerly awaited literary figures since Godot. . . Robinson is acclaimed for her numinous accounts of faith, forgiveness and hope, but read in this electrifying year of national crisis, the Gilead books are unified as well by her unsparing indictment of the American history of racism and inequality, and Christianity’s uneven will to fight them . . . I am looking forward to a fifth volume that will fill in their saga, and I hope it will be called Della.”
— Elaine Showalter, The New York Times Book Review

"Jack is the fourth novel in Robinson’s Gilead series, an intergenerational saga of race, religion, family, and forgiveness centered on a small Iowa town. But it is not accurate to call it a sequel or a prequel. Rather, this book and the others—Gilead, Home, and Lila—are more like the Gospels, telling the same story four different ways.”
— Casey Cep The New Yorker

Praise for GILEAD “Quietly powerful [and] moving.”
— O, The Oprah Magazine (recommended reading)

“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.”
—Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Praise for Lila “Writing in lovely, angular prose that has the high loneliness of an old bluegrass tune, Ms. Robinson has created a balladlike story . . . The novel is powerful and deeply affecting . . . Ms. Robinson renders [Lila's] tale with the stark poetry of Edward Hopper or Andrew Wyeth.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Praise for Home “Remarkable . . . an even stronger accomplishment than Gilead.”
—Claire Messud, The New York Review of Books

“Rich and resonant . . . Gilead and Home fit with and around each other perfectly, each complete on its own, yet enriching and enlivening the other. But both are books of such beauty and power.”
—Emily Barton, Los Angeles Times