Marilynne Robinson has another novel, Home, and talks about it with Newsweek.
The new book seems less like a sequel than a sort of Faulknerian return to Gilead. How conscious were you of the notion that the town itself is a central character to the story? Was that the intention?
To me it seems true that towns are always characters and that landscapes are as well. Gilead has resonance for me as a repository of a certain history, and as the kind of commonplace, self-forgetful little town you might find anywhere and not even bother to wonder about. These places are full of history and full of meaning. I am not particularly interested in creating my own Yoknapatawpha, but Gilead is where these characters live, and that was the reason I returned there.
The New York Sun’s Benjamin Lytal reviews Home here, opening his article with this: “Marilynne Robinson is an anomaly in the great tradition of American literature. One of our few novelists at peace with religion, she isn’t interested in the post-Puritanical game of unmasking hypocrisy, of entering into darkness.”