Marilynne Robinson on writing, metaphysics, and the Donald Trump dilemma

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to novelist Marilynne Robinson during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 10, 2013. | Pete Marovich/Getty Images

The award-winning author joins The Ezra Klein Show.

Marilynne Robinson is one of the greatest American novelists alive today. She’s the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead — one of my favorite books ever — as well as Housekeeping, Home, Lila, and her latest, Jack. She’s also produced four brilliant collections of nonfiction essays.

But Robinson is not simply a beautiful writer; her work is inextricably bound up with the most important issues of our time — race, religion, education, geography, democracy — so much so that in 2015, Barack Obama chose to interview her on the state of the country while he was still the sitting president. This conversation on The Ezra Klein Show was a joy to have right now, and it covers vast amounts of ground, including:

• Robinson’s obsession with the doctrine of predestination

• What we know — and all we don’t know — about the nature of reality

• The power of loneliness

• How, for all the talk of…


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