What Are We Doing Here? Summary and Reviews

What Are We Doing Here?

Essays

by Marilynne Robinson

What Are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson X
What Are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2018
    336 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

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."

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An essay or two rambles too much - "Untitled" is aptly named - but Robinson's overall trajectory is clear and important. Her eloquent work stands up for a compassionate faith, the value of education, and a sense of decency." - Publishers Weekly

"Sharp, elegant cultural analysis." - Kirkus

"Addressing our current political climate, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Robinson, not unexpectedly, does so by considering how writers such as Emerson and Tocqueville have shaped our political thought, encouraging us to continue their tradition and play a role in "a great theater of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still." - 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 ofGilead, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Home, winner of the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her first novel, Housekeeping, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Robinson's nonfiction books include The Givenness of Things, When I Was a Child I Read Books,Absence of Mind, The Death of Adam, andMother 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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