When I Was a Child I Read Books :
Since the 1981 publication of Marilynne Robinson's novel Housekeeping - a stunning debut that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize - she has built a reputation not only as a writer of sharp, subtly moving prose, but also as a rigorous thinker and incisive essayist. Her compelling and demanding collection The Death of Adam - in which she reflected on her Presbyterian upbringing, investigated the roots of Midwestern abolitionism and mounted a memorable defense of Calvinism - is respected as a classic of the genre, praised by Doris Lessing as "a useful antidote to the increasingly crude and slogan-loving culture we inhabit." In this new collection, she returns to the themes that have preoccupied her work: the role of faith in modern life, the inadequacy of fact, the contradictions inherent in human nature. Clear-eyed and forceful as ever, Robinson demonstrates once again why she is regarded as a modern rhetorical master.