What Are We Doing Here?
Rating: 4 / 5
This collection of essays by esteemed American writer Marilynne Robinson will be tough going for many readers but will be enlightening for those who persevere.
Robinson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and an in-demand English professor and lecturer who also happens to be one of America’s finest essayists.
This collection of 15 essays focuses largely on two of her chief loves: modern American culture and her Christian faith. Her observations on how they interact, collide and shape each other are—for an Australian reader—interesting, but I sense that for an American reader they would have greater emotional impact.
While her thoughts on hope, conscience and identity are particularly thought-provoking, some readers will tire quickly of words such as ‘chimerical’, ‘auricular’, ‘consanguinity’ and, oddly, ‘Albigensianism’.
Maybe this book would be best purchased as a present for a smart American friend.