June 30, 2015

Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel - July 27, 2015

We'll meet either at Katherine's or at Suzanne's on July 27 to discuss Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.

Supplemental materials:

June 23, 2015

Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson - June 29, 2015 - Katherine's house

We'll meet on June 29 to discuss Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.

Supplemental materials:

  • LitLovers Housekeeping entry, including link to discussion questions
  • The Big Read discussion questions
  • The Big Read interview (by Dan Stone for the National Endowment for the Arts) with Marilynne Robinson in 2008
  • Q&A with the Washington Post book editor and readers about Housekeeping - from 2001
  • Nation interview with Robinson (Jan 26, 2015)
  • NYTimes interview with Robinson (Oct. 1, 2014): "Without question, [Housekeeping] is preoccupied with the generational, genealogical succession of suffering.  But it also makes sustained allusions to the book of Genesis, particularly the flood narrative:  God's failed attempt to wipe the world clean of the very errors he could not eradicate from creation...'If what people want is to be formally in society, to have status, to have loving relationships, houseplants that don't die, the failure rate is phenomenal . . . Excellent people, well-meaning people, their lives do not yield what they hoped. You know?  this doesn't diminish, at all, the fact that their dignity is intact.  But their grief [is enormous].'"
  • American Conservative interview (November 2013) on faith and conservatism
  • Radio Iowa piece about Robinson being awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2013
  • Interview from 2014 with Bill Moyers (discussing faith, capitalism, and democracy) 
  • Discussion/interview at Georgetown on "The Resurrection of the Ordinary" - Robinson interviewed by Paul Elie (April 6, 2009) - She talks about how cherishing ordinary experience becomes transcendent, "[i]f you think 'What I privilege -- I in this moment encounter this object, this obligation, this emotion."
  • Paris Review interview (Can't tell the date, but sometime after Home was published but before Lila)
  • An essay about solidity and fluidity in Housekeeping, written by Linda Lindqvist at Karlstads Universitet
As always, if you come across other material that you like, let me know  and I will add it to the list.

June 3, 2015

Gender gap in literature awards -- in the characters, not the authors

Interesting read in Quartz about the gender gap in awards for literature.  The gap is in the gender of the characters, rather than in the authors.