I read Robinson’s latest collection of essays like I do all of her nonfiction: with a highlighter, chin in hand, fiercely concentrated. Robinson is stunningly intelligent — capable of synthesizing topics as varied as Fox News and Calvinism — but most enviably, she thinks for herself. That’s not a simple task in a country that asks for blind allegiance to ideology (Left or Right?), and Robinson’s refusal to interpret modern America in such a limited way is challenging, chastising, and inspiring. Recommended By Rhianna W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
New essays on theological, political, and contemporary themes, by the Pulitzer Prize winner.
Marilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels, including Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson and Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs and disciplines daily life, Robinson’s peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display. 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."
"This collection...is sometimes cranky and rambling, but always passionate....Robinson's overall trajectory is clear and important. Her eloquent work stands up for a compassionate faith, the value of education, and a sense of decency." Publishers Weekly
"Her receptivity to all of life, ravishingly expressed in 'Grace and Beauty,' underlies her clarion opposition to the Christian right's abandonment of Christian values and propagation of dystopian media. Robinson's gorgeous, demanding, and enlightening essays, propelled by her intricate vision of unity, radiantly recharge both mind and soul." Booklist
About the Author
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels Lila, Home, Gilead (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), and Housekeeping, and the nonfiction books The Givenness of Things, When I Was a Child I Read Books, Mother Country, The Death of Adam, and Absence of Mind. She lives in Iowa.