The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Housekeeping

Cover of Housekeeping , courtesy of Picador Eccentricity can often be misinterpreted as mental instability, but so can genius and originality. Take Thelonious Monk for example. Or Andy Warhol. Or Zelda Fitzgerald as discussed in Monday's post. The character of Aunt Sylvie in Marilynne Robinson's...
Big Read Caricature of Marilynne Robinson by John Sherffius The Big Read selection Housekeeping opens with the narrator Ruth recounting her family’s curious and troubled history in the mysterious town of Fingerbone. The first tragedy is the unusual death of her grandfather, a railroad employee who...
Image courtesy of World Book Night In the United Kingdom and Ireland, UNESCO’s World Book Day is geared toward “helping children to explore the pleasure of books,” as the celebration’s tagline states. But what about adults? Shouldn’t fully grown members of society be encouraged to pick up a book as...
Sunset over Lake Coeur d'Alene by Clarence Nies As winter comes to an end in Housekeeping , the town of Fingerbone is devastated by a major flood, which author Marilynne Robinson describes with both humor and subtle biblical undercurrents. When the banks of the lake are overwhelmed, not even the...
Washington, DC Dan Stone, producer of the Housekeeping audio guide, and musician Aimee Mann with her copy of Housekeeping . Marilynne Robinson?s 1980 debut novel, Housekeeping , introduced readers to three generations of women from an eccentric family, the Fosters, who live in the fictional town of...
Washington, DC " No Substitute " by accent on eclectic via flickr Every once in a while, you?ll read a sentence in a book that is so beautifully written, or so forceful in the truth it speaks, that you can?t help but stop and marvel at the power of language. Those are the lines that you underline...
Washington, DC " lakeside " by eye of einstein via flickr Although it was published in 1980, Housekeeping feels suspended in time, thanks in large part to Marilynne Robinson?s use of language. Dreamy and flowing, Robinson?s words are at once haunting and rhythmic, and prove as atmospheric to the...
Washington, DC "First Dusting" by David Hoffman via Flickr You've finished all of the selections in the Big Read library---now what? Well, if you're like me, then you'll search out other titles by the authors that you've come to know after weeks of reading, discussing, and celebrating. Here are...
Washington, DC "Recording Memories" by Erik Walker via Flickr This week we're beginning with endings! Can you guess which Big Read novels gave us these five last lines? 1. "I'm skimming across the surface of my own history, moving fast, riding the melt beneath the blades, doing loops and spins, and...
Park University was recently lucky enough to have book critic Michael Dirda kick-off its Big Read with tips on reading and appreciating Marilynne Robinson?s Housekeeping . In the excerpts from an interview with the NEA below, Michael Dirda provides the reader some tips for understanding the writing...

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