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While most well-known for her novels, Robinson is also a master essayist. She has published several collections of essays (all wonderful!) but this, her first collection, remains my favorite. Robinson questions everything and accepts no argument secondhand, and her subjects here range from Darwinism to the Puritans to the art of fiction. A self-described contrarian and Calvinist, there is nothing light about Robinson's work: her arguments are supported by an analysis of philosophical, literary, and theological texts, and seems to exist in a world totally apart from popular culture. Every essay is timeless and intellectually astonishing.— From Julia S's Picks
In this award-winning collection, the bestselling author of Gilead offers us other ways of thinking about history, religion, and society. Whether rescuing "Calvinism" and its creator Jean Cauvin from the repressive "puritan" stereotype, or considering how the McGuffey readers were inspired by Midwestern abolitionists, or the divide between the Bible and Darwinism, Marilynne Robinson repeatedly sends her reader back to the primary texts that are central to the development of American culture but little read or acknowledged today.
A passionate and provocative celebration of ideas, the old arts of civilization, and life's mystery, The Death of Adam is, in the words of Robert D. Richardson, Jr., "a grand, sweeping, blazing, brilliant, life-changing book."
“American culture is enriched by having the whole range of Marilynne Robinson's work” —Jane Vanderburgh, The Boston Globe
“A valuable contribution to American life and letters.” —Kathleen Norris
“A useful antidote to the increasingly crude and slogan-loving culture we inhabit.” —Doris Lessing
“Robinson's thinking is all in the service of humanity's survival, spiritually and environmentally.” —Charles Baxter
“One of Robinson's great merits as an essayist is her refusal to take her opinions secondhand. Her book is a goad to renewed curiosity.” —The New York Times Book Review