Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson
© Nancy Crampton.


Marilynne Robinson was born in Sandpoint, Idaho in 1947.

Marilynne Robinson's Background:

Marilynne Robinson grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho before moving to Providence, Rhode Island to study English at Brown University. Upon graduating in 1966, she went on to pursue graduate studies in English at The University of Washington, where she began writing her first novel, Housekeeping (1981), which won the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Marilynne Robinson's Writing :

Housekeeping is a coming of age story about two girls growing up in Idaho in the middle of the 20th century. After its success in 1981, Robinson focused on essay-writing for a variety of publications including Harper's, The Paris Review, and The New York Times Book Review. Many of these essays were later collected in a critically acclaimed anthology called The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998).

Marilynne Robinson's second novel, Gilead (2004), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Ambassador Book Award. Gilead takes the form of a letter from an aging Iowa preacher to his seven-year-old son. Written in simple and sparse prose, it is an uplifting meditation on life.

Robinson's third novel, Home (2008), is also set in Gilead, Iowa and is something of a follow-up to Gilead, once again a story written in plain speech about ordinary Midwestern characters.

Home is a National Book Award finalist.

Novels by Marilynne Robinson:

  • Housekeeping (1981)
  • Gilead (2004)
  • Home (2008)