Housekeeping

A Novel

Marilynne Robinson

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Winner of the Pen/Hemingway Award

A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, the eccentric and remote sister of their dead mother. The family house is in the small town of Fingerbone on a glacial lake in the Far West, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere." Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transcience.

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1My name is Ruth. I grew up with my younger sister, Lucille, under the care of my grandmother, Mrs. Sylvia Foster, and when she died, of her sisters-in-law, Misses Lily and Nona Foster, and when they fled, of her daughter, Mrs. Sylvia Fisher. Through all these generations of elders we lived in one house, my grandmother’s house, built for her by her husband, Edmund Foster, an employee of the railroad, who escaped this world years before I entered it. It was he who put us down in this unlikely place. He had grown up in the Middle West, in a house dug out of the ground, with windows just at

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Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson--audiobook excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from the novel Housekeeping, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson. A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a sp

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Reviews

Praise for Housekeeping

"So precise, so distilled, so beautiful that one doesn't want to miss any pleasure it might yield."--The New York Times Book Review

"Here's a first novel that sounds as if the author has been treasuring it up all her life...You can feel in the book a gathering voluptuous release of confidence, a delighted surprise at the unexpected capacities of language, a close, careful fondness for people that we thought only saints felt."--Anatole Broyard, The New York Times

"I found myself reading slowly, than more slowly--this is not a novel to be hurried through, for every sentence is a delight."--Doris Lessing

In the Press

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Marilynne Robinson: When I Was a Child I Read Books
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels Housekeeping (FSG, 1981), Gilead (FSG, 2004), winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Home (FSG, 2008), and three books of nonfiction, Mother Country (FSG, 1989), The Death of Adam (1998) and Absence of Mind (2010).
- FSG's Work in Progress

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About the Author

Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson is the author of Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Home, winner of the Orange Prize, the L.A. Times Book Prize, and a finalist for the National Book Award. Housekeeping was her first novel and won the PEN/Hemingway Award. Robinson’s nonfiction books include Absence of Mind, The Death of Adam, and Mother Country, which was nominated for a National Book Award. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Iowa City.

Marilynne Robinson

©Nancy Crampton
Marilynne Robinson

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Available Formats and Book Details

Housekeeping
A Novel
Marilynne Robinson

Award

Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award - Nominee, Pulitzer Prize - Finalist

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
January 1981
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374173135
ISBN10: 0374173133
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 232 pages
$23.00

Unabridged Compact Disc

Unabridged  Compact Disc
Macmillan Audio
August 2005
Unabridged Compact Disc
ISBN: 9781593977863
ISBN10: 1593977867
Audio Run Time: 5:30
$29.95

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
August 2005
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781593978419
ISBN10: 1593978413
Audio Run Time: 5:30
$14.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
November 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312424091
ISBN10: 0312424094
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$15.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
November 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429954464
ISBN10: 1429954469
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$9.99
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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