Marilynne Robinson: The Prodigal Son
With her Gilead novels, Marilynne Robinson has created one of the most exquisitely and tenderly evoked communities in contemporary literature. Over four novels, Gilead, Home, Lila and now Jack, Robinson has portrayed life in the fictional small Iowa town of Gilead through the eyes of four different characters including Reverends Robert Boughton and John Ames, and the youngest Boughton daughter Glory. But it is Boughton’s son Jack who has always remained elusive.
In her previous books Jack was usually the subject of other people’s concern. But now Robinson has found her way into the mind of Gilead’s most seductive, yet loneliest character: a tragic hero. Although Jack is best read as part of the quartet, it can equally be read as a standalone book.
We are thrilled to welcome the Pulitzer Prize-winning Robinson to the Festival as she beams in remotely from Iowa to talk about her quietly monumental literary project.