Marilynne Robinson is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Women's Prize for Fiction and she has twice been nominated for the International Booker Prize. In 2013 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama. She lives in Iowa.
Jack Boughton has been present, even when he was painfully absent, throughout Robinson's profound saga and now he steps forward to illuminate the hidden facets of his peripatetic life of lies, thievery, bad luck and dangerous love. Robinson's latest glorious work of metaphysical and moral inquiry, nuanced feelings, intricate imagination and exquisite sensuousness begins at night inside the locked gates of a St. Louis cemetery where Jack, an alcoholic, sarcastic and self-loathing white man living rough, encounters the woman he loves, Della Miles, who is a disciplined, poetry-loving, Black and a devoted high school history teacher . . . Myriad manifestations of pain are evoked, but here, too, are beauty, humour, mystery and joy as Robinson holds us rapt with the exactitude of her perceptions and the exhilaration of her hymnal cadence, and so gracefully elucidates the complex sorrows and wonders of life and spirit * Booklist * A sometimes tender, sometimes fraught story of interracial love in a time of trouble . . . The story flows swiftly- and without a hint of inevitability - as Robinson explores a favorite theme, 'guilt and grace met together'. An elegantly written proof of the thesis that love conquers all - but not without considerable pain * Kirkus (starred review) *