What Are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson
Essays

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What most distinguishes this new collection from its predecessors is its sustained defense — spread across several essays but mounted most forcefully in “The American Scholar Now,” whose title pays homage to Emerson — of the public university.
-NY Times

Synopsis

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.”

 

About Marilynne Robinson

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Marilynne Robinson is the author of Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Housekeeping, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Home received the Orange Prize, the L.A. Times Book Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Robinson’s nonfiction books include Absence of Mind, The Death of Adam, and Mother Country, which was nominated for a National Book Award. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Iowa City.
 
Published February 20, 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 336 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Donovan Hohn on Mar 09 2018

What most distinguishes this new collection from its predecessors is its sustained defense — spread across several essays but mounted most forcefully in “The American Scholar Now,” whose title pays homage to Emerson — of the public university.

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