The Givenness of Things
Robinson has plumbed the depths of the human spirit in her trilogy of novels - Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, Orange-Prize winning Home and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Lila - and in her moving essay collection When I Was a Child I Read Books. Now, in The Givenness of Things, she brings a profound sense of awe and an incisive mind to the essential questions of contemporary life and faith. Through fourteen essays of remarkable depth and insight, Robinson explores the dilemmas of our modern predicament. How has our so-called Christian nation strayed from so many of the teachings of Christ? How could the great minds of the past, Calvin and Locke-and Shakespeare-guide our lives? And what might the world look like if we could see the sacredness in each other? Exquisite and bold, these essays are a necessary call for us to find wisdom and guidance in our cultural treasures, to seek humanity and compassion in each other. The Givenness of Things is a reminder of what a marvel our existence is in its grandeur - and its humility.
The Givenness of Things is Robinson unadorned, speaking her mind forthrightly, sometimes with frustration, often with dry humour ... Robinson makes full use of her writerly imagination Herald I surrendered to the beauty of Robinson's prose and the breadth of her learning, I found that, even if I didn't recognise every biblical or philosophical reference, my mind was expanding and thrilling to her ideas ... When she describes herself sitting on her porch, writing and eavesdropping on her neighbours, I think of Henry David Thoreau in Walden and the enduring urgency and relevance of his meditations. Now 71, Robinson's words might outlive us all Independent What comes across most forcefully in these beautifully written essays is Robinson's sense of awe at the universe's wonders, and her boundless desire for knowledge Sunday Times The most engrossing book I read this year was The Givenness of Things -- Frank Cottrell Boyce Observer
Marilynne Robinson is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Orange Prize for fiction and she has twice been nominated for the International Man Booker Prize. In 2013 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama.