This Life, This World: New Essays on Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, Gilead, and Home


This book explores the author’s award-winning novels while also engaging her non-fiction. As the first book devoted entirely to Robinson and to her diverse contributions to literature and scholarship, This Life, This World familiarizes readers with the major currents in her thought and moves scholarly dialogue into new theoretical directions. An interdisciplinary group, the contributors bring to their subject a diversity of perspectives—Romanticism, ecocriticism, medicine and literature, religion and literature, theology, American Studies, critical race theory, and feminist and gender studies—that reflects the amplitude and fecundity of Robinson’s art and thought. The book begins with an annotated timeline and concludes with a substantive written interview with Robinson wherein she reflects on her work and its reception. A tremendous resource for Robinson enthusiasts and for readers interested in the questions she raises in her fiction and non-fiction.

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Jason W. Stevens has taught at Harvard University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and he has been a fellow of the National Humanities Center (Durham, NC). His work focuses on mid-late 20th century American literature and U. S. cultural and intellectual history, with emphases on the intersections of fiction, popular culture, religion, and ethnicity. His first book was God-Fearing and Free: A Spiritual History of America’s Cold War (Harvard University Press 2010). His writings have also appeared in boundary 2, American Literature, Literature/Film Quarterly, and The Immanent Frame. In 2014-2015, he is a fellow at the Center for the Humanities, University of Pittsburgh, where he is completing a book project on American film noir .

Marilynne Robinson: A Chronology
Jason Stevens

Jason Stevens
Housekeeping, Wordsworth, and the Sublimity of Unsurrendered Wilderness Jonathan Arac & Susan Balée
At Home with Transience: Reconfiguring Female Characters of the American West in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
Corina Crisu

Religion, Literature, and the Environment in the Work of Marilynne Robinson
George Handley

Becoming a Creature of Artful Existence: Theological Perception and Ecological Design in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead
Chad Wriglesworth

Sentimentality and Grace: Marilynne Robinson and Nineteenth-Century Prodigal Son Narratives
Rachel B. Griffis

In the Face of Mystery: Soteriological Symbolism in Home and Gilead
Mark S. M. Scott

Marilynne Robinson’s Merging of Medicine and Literature: Therapeutic Journaling as Balm in Gilead
Janella Moy

The Privilege of Loneliness, the Kindness of Home: “Felt Experience” in the Writing of Marilynne Robinson
Carolyn Allen

“Jack Boughton has a wife and a child”: Generative Blackness in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and Home
Yumi Pak

Robinson and Updike: Houses, Domesticity, and the Numinous Quotidian
James Schiff

An Interview with Marilynne Robinson
Jason Stevens

Selected Bibliography
Jason Stevens

Author Biographies

Academics working in the Humanities, most especially English, Religion and Literature, Religious Studies, Eco-criticism, American Studies, and Feminist and Gender Studies.