When I Was a Child I Read Books: Book summary and reviews of When I Was a Child I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson

When I Was a Child I Read Books

Essays

By Marilynne Robinson

When I Was a Child I Read Books
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012,
    224 pages.

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Book Summary

Since the 1981 publication of Marilynne Robinson's novel, Housekeeping - a stunning debut that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize - she has built a sterling reputation not only as a writer of sharp, subtly moving prose, but also as a rigorous thinker and incisive essayist. Her compelling and demanding collection The Death of Adam - in which she reflected on her Presbyterian upbringing, investigated the roots of Midwestern abolitionism, and mounted a memorable defense of Calvinism - is respected as a classic of the genre, praised by Doris Lessing as "a useful antidote to the increasingly crude and slogan-loving culture we inhabit."

In this new collection she returns to the themes which have preoccupied her work: the role of faith in modern life, the inadequacy of fact, the contradictions inherent in human nature. Clear-eyed and forceful as ever, Robinson demonstrates once again why she is regarded as a modern rhetorical master.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] series of tightly developed essays, some personal but mostly more general, on the Big Themes: social fragmentation in modern America, human frailty, faith." - Publishers Weekly

"Articulate and learned descriptions and defenses of the author's Christian faith." - Kirkus Reviews

"Here Robinson revisits favorite themes, considering the impoverishment of consumer culture, the role of faith, and the complexities of human nature. For all your smart readers." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Marilynne Robinson Author Biography

Marilynne Robinson is the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, for "her grace and intelligence in writing." She is the author of Gilead, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Home, winner of the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first novel, Housekeeping, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Robinson's nonfiction books include When I Was a Child I Read Books, 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.

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