Marilynne Robinson

(4152 words)
  • Rachel Lister (University of Durham)

Marilynne Robinson is widely recognised as one of America’s most powerful living writers. Known primarily as a writer of fiction, she has written two novels for which she has garnered multiple awards and accolades. She is celebrated for her fluid yet measured style, her poetic intensity, and her powerful evocation of place. Prevalent themes of her fiction include: the pull of family, place and the past; the search for spiritual transcendence; the effects of loss, isolation and transience.

Robinson was born in 1947 in Sandpoint, Idaho. She was raised by her parents, Ellen Harris Summers and John J. Summers. She spent her childhood in small, Midwestern towns. In 1966 she graduated from Brown University, then earned a PhD in …
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Lister, Rachel. "Marilynne Robinson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2006; last revised 18 July 2015.
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]