The Heyman Center for the Humanities; the Writing Program of the School of the Arts; and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life presents an evening with Pulitzer-prize winning author Marrilynne Robinson, who will read from her work and be in discussion with Unitarian Minister Robert Hardies.
Robinson’s recent book, Lila, was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award. The novel tells the story of Lila, a homeless drifter who steps inside a small-town Iowa church – the only available shelter from the rain – and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.
Ellis Avery, Author and Assistant Professor of Writing at Columbia University, will serve as moderator.
To hear an excerpt of the book, visit the publisher’s website.
Marilynne Robinson is the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, for “her grace and intelligence in writing.” In October 2014, she published Lila, praised by Michiko Kakutani inThe New York Times as posessing “the high loneliness of an old bluegrass tune….Ms. Robinson renders [Lila’s] tale with the stark poetry of Edward Hopper or Andrew Wyeth.” Robinson is also the author of Gilead, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Home, winner of the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first novel,Housekeeping, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Robinson’s nonfiction books include When I Was a Child I Read Books, Absence of Mind, The Death of Adam, and Mother Country, which was nominated for a National Book Award. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Iowa City.
Robert Hardies is All Souls’ senior minister and a leader in the Washington Interfaith Network, a coalition of 40 congregations building power to create social change in the city. He is a board member of Clinica del Pueblo, a non-profit health clinic serving DC’s Latino community, and, from 2001 to 2003, he served on DC Mayor Anthony Williams’ Interfaith Advisory Board. Rev Hardies edited Blessing the World: What Can Save Us Now (Skinner House, 2006), a collection of essays by the feminist theologian, Rebecca Parker. He is an adjunct faculty member at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Ellis Avery is the author of two novels, a memoir, and a book of poetry. Her most recent novel, The Last Nude (Riverhead 2012) was inspired by the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and is set in 1920s Paris. She teaches fiction writing at Columbia University and lives in New York City.