Marilynne Robinson on her novel Gilead, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Gilead is an epistolary novel that is the fictional autobiography of the Reverend John Ames, an elderly congregationalist pastor in the small, secluded town of Gilead, Iowa, who knows that he is dying of a heart condition.
An intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the 20th Century, Gilead tells a story of fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. In the luminous voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, the novel takes the form of a letter to his young son and is a hymn of praise and lamentation to the God-driven existence that the Reverend loves passionately – and from which he will soon part.
(Photo: Marilynne Robinson. Credit: Nancy Crampton)