DescriptionIn 2004, Marilynne Robinson published what she envisioned to be the first in a trilogy of novels about how grace might manifest itself for a group of Iowans. In the decade that followed, Robinson gradually, and with much thoughtful discernment, worked to complete the trilogy. In 2014, she published the third and final book.
Structured like a monthly book club, Trilogy of Grace will explore these novels—Gilead, Home, and Lila—paying close attention to how Robinson’s characters move into and out of a state of grace. In addition, readers will study carefully the author’s prose style. The antithesis of “minimalist prose,” Robinson’s style harkens back to those of giants such as Charles Dickens (for characterization) and Virginia Woolf (for internal monologues).
Participants should come to the first session (March 24) ready to discuss the "incandescent, magnificent, literary miracle" (Entertainment Weekly) that is Gilead. Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the novel is an intimate tale spanning three generations (from the Civil War to the 20th century) of fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart.
A 2008 National Book Award Finalist, and winner of the 2009 Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Home (April 21) is a brilliantly imagined retelling of the prodigal son parable, set at the same moment and in the same Iowa town as Gilead.
Lila (May 19), is the final book in the trilogy, in which Robinson returns to the town of Gilead to tell an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder. Like its predecessor, the book was a National Book Award Finalist and has been called “a moving expression of the mysteries of existence that is destined to become an American classic.”
Required: Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, (Picador; reprint, 2006); Home (Picador; reprint, 2009); and Lila: A Novel, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014).
Toni McNaron is professor emerita of English at the University of Minnesota where she taught for 37 years and was founder and chair of the Women’s Studies Program, the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, and the GLBT Studies Program. She is the recipient of five awards for outstanding teaching, including the College of Continuing Education’s Distinguished Educator Award. In addition, McNaron is the author of numerous books, including I Dwell in Possibility: A Memoir (The Feminist Press, 2001), and Into the Paradox: Conservative Spirit, Feminist Politics (Hurley Publishing, 2013).
Cancellations are subject to a ten-percent processing fee if received 5 or fewer working days before the program start. Refunds are not granted if you cancel on or after the first day of the program. Notice may be emailed or faxed to: firstname.lastname@example.org | (612) 624-5359.