Sunday Nov. 26 is the birthday of Marilynne Robinson, the renowned novelist and essayist!
Marilynne Robinson’s next book, to be released in 2018, is What Are We Doing Here?: Essays
In anticipation of this essay collection, we offer the following list of ten of Robinson’s finest essays that can be read in full online!
You will find the title essay of this forthcoming collection
(which first appeared in The NY Review of Books) near the end of this list…
Enjoy these essays!!!
A Proof, A Test, An Instruction
Originally appeared in The Nation
Let us say, as a thought experiment, that history and providence conspired to create a president suited to 21st-century America. He might unite in his own person the two races that are shorthand for difference and division within the society, and have deep personal bonds with both black and white. Race has only the meaning that culture gives it—and we learn every day that culture is a heavy-handed enforcer of the distinctions it has made. An ideal president would be one suited to his circumstance, to dealing with the potent aftershocks of an unjust and violent history. If it were clear that he loved and honored, and identified with, both streams of his heritage, he would bring as much humanity to this grievous old affliction as any one person could bring to it.
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