Marilynne Robinson

Edited by Rachel Sykes, Anna Maguire Elliott and Jennifer Daly

Marilynne Robinson


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3465-3
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: March 2022
  • BIC Category: Contemporary Literature, Literature, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 20th Century, LITERARY CRITICISM / General, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: from c 1900 -, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
  • Series: Contemporary American and Canadian Writers


Best known for a trilogy of historical novels set in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa, Marilynne Robinson is a prolific writer, teacher, and public speaker, who has won the Pulitzer Prize and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by Barack Obama. This collection intervenes in Robinson's growing critical reputation, pointing to new and exciting links between the author, the historical settings of her novels, and the contemporary themes of her fictional, educational, and theoretical work. Introduced by a critical discussion from Professors Bridget Bennett, Sarah Churchwell, and Richard King, Marilynne Robinson features analysis from a range of international academics, and explores debates in race, gender, environment, critical theory, and more, to suggest new and innovative readings of her work.


Introduction - Rachel Sykes, Jennifer Daly, and Anna Maguire Elliott
Robinson in context: A critical discussion - Sarah Churchwell, Richard H. King, Bridget Bennett

Writing, form, and style
1 'It might be better to burn them': Archive fever and the Gilead novels of Marilynne Robinson - Daniel King
2 'One day she would tell him what she knew': Disturbance of the epistemological conventions of the marriage plot in Lila - Maria Elena Carpintero Torres-Quevedo
3 Robinson's triumphs of style - Jack Baker

Gender and environment
4 The female orphan and an ecofeminist ethic-of-care in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and Lila - Anna Maguire Elliott
5 Souls all unaccompanied: Enacting feminine alterity in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping - Makayla Steiner
6 The domestic geographies of grief: Bereavement, time and home spaces in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and Home - Lucy Clarke

Imagined histories: Race, religion, and rights
7 Domesticating political feeling, affect and memory in Marilynne Robinson's Home - Christopher Lloyd
8 'Onward Christian liberals': Marilynne Robinson's essays and the crisis of mainline Protestantism - Alexander Engebretson
9 Presence in absence: The spectre of race in Gilead and Home - Emily Hammerton-Barry

Robinson and her contemporaries
10 'Everything can change': Civil rights, civil war and radical transformation in Home and Gilead - Tessa Roynon
11 'A great admirer of American education': Robinson as professor and defender of 'America's best idea' - Steve Gronert Ellerhoff and Kathryn E. Engebretson
12 Acknowledging a numinous ordinary: Marilynne Robinson and Stanley Cavell - Paul Jenner

Epilogue - 'A little different every time': Accumulation and repetition in Jack - Rachel Sykes


Rachel Sykes is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary American Literature at the University of Birmingham

Jennifer Daly is an independent researcher and Research Strategy Officer at Trinity College Dublin

Anna Maguire Elliott is Senior Research Administrator at the University of Portsmouth

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