Voices from the Beinecke Library

Marilynne Robinson Papers

The Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the papers of Pulitzer-prize winning author and essayist Marilynne Robinson. A description of the collection can be found online: Marilynne Robinson Papers, YCAL MSS 609. The collection consists of writings, correspondence, other papers, and audiovisual materials. Writings include published works including Housekeeping, Connie Bronson, Mother Country, The Death of Adam, Gilead, and Home, as well as unpublished fiction and student writings. Correspondence includes family, personal, and professional correspondence, and fan mail. Other papers consist of printed material, clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous papers. Robinson has been acclaimed for the poetic way in which she explores the “Big Themes” of religion, the soul, and the significance of mankind through both fiction and non-fiction. Her first novel, Housekeeping (1980),was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and won the Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award for Best First Novel. Gilead, the fictional autobiography of small-town Congregationalist pastor John Ames, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. Robinson’s 3rd-person retelling of the events in Gilead, Home, won the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction (UK). Robinson has also published four books of non-fiction, Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State, and Nuclear Pollution (1989); The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998); Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness From the Inner Self (2010); and, most recently, When I Was a Child I Read Books: Essays. Ms. Robinson graduated magna cum laude from Pembrooke College, the former women’s college at Brown University, in 1966, and received her PhD in English from Washington State University in 1977. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected her a fellow in 2010. She has been writer-in-residence or visiting professor at a number of universities, including the University of Kent, Amherst, the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets, and Yale University. She currently teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and delivers occasional sermons at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Iowa City. –Charlotte Parker, Y’2013


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