What Are We Doing Here?: Essays by Marilynne Robinson

Reviewed by
May 2018, no. 401
Morag Fraser reviews 'What Are We Doing Here?: Essays' by Marilynne Robinson

What Are We Doing Here?: Essays

by Marilynne Robinson

Virago, $27.99 pb, 331 pp, 9780349010458

What Are We Doing Here?: Essays by Marilynne Robinson

Reviewed by
May 2018, no. 401

At a recent Passover Seder in Melbourne, I caught the word ‘Gilead’. ‘My favourite book!’ exclaimed the woman opposite me. I was a Catholic guest at a gracious Jewish table, so I whispered my query: ‘Marilynne Robinson’s novel?’ ‘Of course!’ came the emphatic reply. The Seder ritual was suspended for a moment (informality was part of the evening’s graciousness) while people asked about Robinson, about American literature, and what a Calvinist might be.

If I’d had multiples of Robinson’s new book of essays, What Are We Doing Here?, I would have handed them around gratefully, not just for her eloquent explanation of what it means to be a Calvinist in today’s America, but for her profound articulation of what it means to be a writer and an exemplary human being in an age and a country (a world?) where language and truth are daily traduced.

Morag Fraser reviews 'What Are We Doing Here?: Essays' by Marilynne Robinson

What Are We Doing Here?: Essays

by Marilynne Robinson

Virago, $27.99 pb, 331 pp, 9780349010458

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.