posted October 27, 2005

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist to Read

The Hope College Visiting Writers Series will feature 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson on Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Please note date and location have been changed from the initial announcement of Robinson's appearance.

Robinson won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize award for her second novel, "Gilead," which also received praise from a variety of critics. Robinson's first novel, "Housekeeping," received the PEN/Hemmingway award for best first novel in 1981 and is now considered an American classic. More than 20 years separated the publication of her two novels.

"Gilead" is written as a letter from a 76-year-old Congregationalist preacher to his seven-year-old son. Robinson is a Congregationalist, and has served as a deacon in the church, and religion has a clear role in her work.

"(Gilead) -- let's say this right now -- is so serenely beautiful, and written in a prose so gravely measured and thoughtful, that one feels touched with grace just to read it," said "The Washington Post."

"Housekeeping" is a "beautifully written, God-charged story of a female-dominated family in rural Idaho has come to be regarded as one of the classic novels of the last two decades of the 20th century," said "The Chicago Sun Times."

In between her novels, Robinson authored a critically acclaimed collection of essays, "The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought," on topics ranging from John Calvin to Darwinism to Freud and 20th century psychologists, published in 1998. Robinson also wrote the controversial 1989 book "Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State and Nuclear Pollution," which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

"The New York Times" has said that her work is "so precise, so distilled, so beautiful that one doesn't want to miss any pleasure it might yield."

Robinson's work has also appeared in numerous publications, including the "The New York Times Book Review," "Harper's" and "The Paris Review."

Robinson was born and raised in Idaho. After graduating from Brown University in 1966, she enrolled in the graduate program in English at the University of Washington and completed "Housekeeping" while working on her dissertation. She now teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Her reading marks a second visit to the Hope campus. In May 2001 she was part of the college's "Senior Seminar" workshop, meeting with the faculty for discussion of "The Death of Adam."

Additional information about Robinson may be obtained online at hope.edu/vws.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street.