Thursday, June 04, 2009

Robinson Takes the Orange

Marilynne Robinson has won the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction for her third novel, Home.

Chair of Judges Fi Glover called it :
A kind, wise, enriching novel, exquisitely crafted. We were unanimously agreed – it is a profound work of art.
Her previous novels are Housekeeping (1981) and Gilead (2004) both of which were highly acclaimed and award-winning.

Here's the synopsis :
Jack – prodigal son of the Boughton family, godson and namesake of John Ames (main protagonist of Gilead, Robinson’s last novel), gone twenty years, has returned home looking for refuge and to try to make peace with a past littered with trouble and pain. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold down a job, Jack is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton’s most beloved child. ... His sister Glory has also returned to Gilead, fleeing her own mistakes, to care for their dying father. Brilliant, loveable, wayward, Jack forges an intense new bond with Glory and engages painfully with his father and his father’s old friend, John Ames.
There's an excellent profile of Robinson by Emma Brockes today in The Guardian.

In her acceptance speech Robinson talked about how fiction could help people “step back” from material obsessions to re-assess “what is to be valued in life”.

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