The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Marilynne Robinson

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...
Jim White, in the studio. Photo courtesy of Jim White And now, a literary moment featuring musician Jim White on Carson McCullers's, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter . [1:29] [audio: http://bigreadblog.arts.gov/audio/WhiteSymphony.mp3] [ transcript ] To hear the entire McCullers Big Read audio guide,...
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 " 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...
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...
Parkville, Missouri Michael Dirda kicks off Park University's Big Read with his tips on reading and appreciating Marilynne Robinson?s Housekeeping . Photo courtesy of Park University, the Kansas City Public Library, and the Central Exchange. When I speak with Big Read organizers I like to ask them...
Washington, DC "A library user in its natural habitat" by Molly Ali from Flickr ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollyali/ / CC BY-NC 2.0 ) On the one hand, there's ample evidence that literary reading is not as popular a pasttime as it used to be. On the other hand, when you hear all of the...
Washington, DC Marilynne Robinson read from her most recent novel, Home , at the 2009 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Photo by Tom Roster. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (a day late) to Housekeeping author Marilynne Robinson! Today I'm pondering this quote from Robinson's second novel, the Pulitzer Prize...

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