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Gilead

A Novel

Marilynne Robinson

Picador

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner

    National Book Critics Circle Awards Winner

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Named One of the Ten Best Books by The New York Times Book Review
A New York Times Notable Book
A Chicago Tribune Best Book
Short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year
 
In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowa preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War," then, at age fifty, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle. Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father—an ardent pacifist—and his grandfather, whose pistol and bloody shirts, concealed in an army blanket, may be relics from the fight between the abolitionists and those settlers who wanted to vote Kansas into the Union as a slave state. And he tells a story of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, which are tested in his tender and strained relationship with his namesake, John Ames Boughton, his best friend's wayward son.

This is also the tale of another remarkable vision—not a corporeal vision of God but the vision of life as a wondrously strange creation. It tells how wisdom was forge in Ames's soul during his solitary life, and how history lives through generations, pervasively present even when betrayed and forgotten.

Gilead is the long-hoped-for second novel by one of our finest writers, a hymn of praise and lamentation to the God-haunted existence that Reverend Ames loves passionately, and from which he will soon part.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Marilynne Robinson's novel Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Nearly 25 years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations, from the Civil War to the 20th century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. In the words of Kirkus, it is a novel "as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchle

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REVIEWS

Praise for Gilead

"At a moment in cultural history dominated by the shallow, the superficial, the quick fix, Marilynne Robinson is a miraculous anomaly: a writer who thoughtfully, carefully, and tenaciously explores some of the deepest questions confronting the human species. . . . Poignant, absorbing, lyrical...Robinson manages to convey the miracle of existence itself."--Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Incandescent . . . magnificent . . . [a] literary miracle."--Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly (A)

"Rapturous . . . astonishing . . . Gilead is an inspired work from a writer whose sensibility seems steeped in holy fire."--Lisa Shea, Elle
 
"Lyrical and meditative . . . potently contemplative."--Michele Orecklin, Time

"Perfect."--Jeremy Jackson, People(four stars)
 
"Major."--Philip Connors, Newsday

"You must read this book. . . . Altogether unlike any other work of fiction, it has sprung forth more than twenty years after Housekeeping with what I can only call amazing grace."--Anne Hulbert, Slate

"So serenely beautiful and written in a prose so gravely measured and thoughtful, that one feels touched with grace just to read it."--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"There are passages here of such profound, hard-won wisdom and spiritual insight that they make your own life seem richer. . . . Gilead [is] a quiet, deep celebration of life that you must not miss."--Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor

"Gilead is a refuge for readers longing for that increasingly rare work of fiction, one that explores big ideas while telling a good story. As John Ames might point out, it's a remarkable thing to consider."--Olivia Boler, San Francisco Chronicle

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 the modern classic Housekeeping--winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award--and two books of nonfiction, Mother Country (FSG, 1989) and The Death of Adam. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
  • Marilynne Robinson Kelly Ruth Winter
    Marilynne Robinson
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Gilead

A Novel

Marilynne Robinson

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Christianity Today Book Award, ALA Notable Books - Winner, Ambassador Book Award - Winner, Book Sense Book of the Year Award - Nominee, L.A. Times Book Prize - Finalist, PEN/Faulkner Award - Nominee, Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award - Winner, National Book Critics Circle Awards Winner, Society of Midland Authors Book Awards - Winner

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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