For heaven’s sake

Filed under: Fiction

Marilynne Robinson interviewed by Maya Jaggi at the Hawthorden Meeting, chaired by Anne Chisholm

Marilynne Robinson’s three novels – Home (winner of the 2009 Orange Prize), Gilead (winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize), and Housekeeping (Pulitzer Prize finalist 1982) – share a strain of wistful longing. She writes, one critic has noted, as if ‘the sentences have been there for ever, waiting to be discovered’. Between novels, she has published forceful, sometimes polemical, works of non-fiction. Mother Country (1989) exposes the British Government’s record of nuclear pollution; The Death of Adam (1998) scorns the empty state of contemporary discourse; and Absence of Mind (2010) attacks the modern assumption that science and religion are incompatible. In a rare public appearance, Marilynne Robinson talks to award-winning Guardian critic and profile writer Maya Jaggi about her love for her fictional characters; her belief that writing should not be a full-time job; and her conviction, held from childhood, that heaven is all about us.