Items related to Gilead (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

Gilead (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel - Softcover

 
9780312424404: Gilead (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
View all copies of this ISBN edition
 
 

The 2004 Pulitzer Prize winning novel
A New York Times Top-Ten Book of 2004
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
A PBS Great American Read selection

Nearly 25 years after Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations, from the Civil War to the 20th century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. In the words of Kirkus, it is a novel "as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchless and towering." Gilead tells the story of America and will break your heart.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:
In 1981, Marilynne Robinson wrote Housekeeping, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and became a modern classic. Since then, she has written two pieces of nonfiction: Mother Country and The Death of Adam. With Gilead, we have, at last, another work of fiction. As with The Great Fire, Shirley Hazzards's return, 22 years after The Transit of Venus, it was worth the long wait. Books such as these take time, and thought, and a certain kind of genius. There are no invidious comparisons to be made. Robinson's books are unalike in every way but one: the same incisive thought and careful prose illuminate both.

The narrator, John Ames, is 76, a preacher who has lived almost all of his life in Gilead, Iowa. He is writing a letter to his almost seven-year-old son, the blessing of his second marriage. It is a summing-up, an apologia, a consideration of his life. Robinson takes the story away from being simply the reminiscences of one man and moves it into the realm of a meditation on fathers and children, particularly sons, on faith, and on the imperfectability of man.

The reason for the letter is Ames's failing health. He wants to leave an account of himself for this son who will never really know him. His greatest regret is that he hasn't much to leave them, in worldly terms. "Your mother told you I'm writing your begats, and you seemed very pleased with the idea. Well, then. What should I record for you?" In the course of the narrative, John Ames records himself, inside and out, in a meditative style. Robinson's prose asks the reader to slow down to the pace of an old man in Gilead, Iowa, in 1956. Ames writes of his father and grandfather, estranged over his grandfather's departure for Kansas to march for abolition and his father's lifelong pacifism. The tension between them, their love for each other and their inability to bridge the chasm of their beliefs is a constant source of rumination for John Ames. Fathers and sons.

The other constant in the book is Ames's friendship since childhood with "old Boughton," a Presbyterian minister. Boughton, father of many children, favors his son, named John Ames Boughton, above all others. Ames must constantly monitor his tendency to be envious of Boughton's bounteous family; his first wife died in childbirth and the baby died almost immediately after her. Jack Boughton is a ne'er-do-well, Ames knows it and strives to love him as he knows he should. Jack arrives in Gilead after a long absence, full of charm and mischief, causing Ames to wonder what influence he might have on Ames's young wife and son when Ames dies.

These are the things that Ames tells his son about: his ancestors, the nature of love and friendship, the part that faith and prayer play in every life and an awareness of one's own culpability. There is also reconciliation without resignation, self-awareness without deprecation, abundant good humor, philosophical queries--Jack asks, "'Do you ever wonder why American Christianity seems to wait for the real thinking to be done elsewhere?'"--and an ongoing sense of childlike wonder at the beauty and variety of God's world.

In Marilynne Robinson's hands, there is a balm in Gilead, as the old spiritual tells us. --Valerie Ryan

About the Author:
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the modern classic Housekeeping--winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award--and two books of nonfiction, Mother Country (FSG, 1989) and The Death of Adam. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

  • PublisherPicador
  • Publication date2006
  • ISBN 10 031242440X
  • ISBN 13 9780312424404
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages247
  • Rating

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

Stock Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Paperback

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: GoldBooks, Denver, CO, U.S.A.

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Paperback. Condition: new. New Copy. Customer Service Guaranteed. Seller Inventory # think031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 4.12
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 4.25
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Stock Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New paperback

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: Read&Dream, SAINT LOUIS, MO, U.S.A.

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 4JSXJ6000ZNE

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 6.63
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Stock Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Softcover

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: Ergodebooks, Houston, TX, U.S.A.

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Softcover. Condition: New. Reprint. A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER OPRAHS BOOK CLUB PICK WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK MORE THAN 1 MILLION COPIES SOLDQuietly powerful [and] moving. O, The Oprah Magazine (recommended reading)Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, GILEAD is a hymn of praise and lamentation to the God-haunted existence that Reverend Ames loves passionately, and from which he will soon part.In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War," then, at age fifty, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle.Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father--an ardent pacifist--and his grandfather, whose pistol and bloody shirts, concealed in an army blanket, may be relics from the fight between the abolitionists and those settlers who wanted to vote Kansas into the union as a slave state. And he tells a story of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, which are tested in his tender and strained relationship with his namesake, John Ames Boughton, his best friend's wayward son.This is also the tale of another remarkable vision--not a corporeal vision of God but the vision of life as a wondrously strange creation. It tells how wisdom was forged in Ames's soul during his solitary life, and how history lives through generations, pervasively present even when betrayed and forgotten. Seller Inventory # DADAX031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 12.38
Convert currency
Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Stock Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Softcover

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: Front Cover Books, Denver, CO, U.S.A.

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Condition: new. Seller Inventory # FrontCover031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 9.20
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 4.30
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Stock Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Paperback

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: Wizard Books, Long Beach, CA, U.S.A.

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Paperback. Condition: new. New. Seller Inventory # Wizard031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 13.24
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Stock Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Paperback

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: GoldenDragon, Houston, TX, U.S.A.

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Paperback. Condition: new. Buy for Great customer experience. Seller Inventory # GoldenDragon031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 23.45
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 3.25
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Stock Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Paperback

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: GoldenWavesOfBooks, Fayetteville, TX, U.S.A.

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Paperback. Condition: new. New. Fast Shipping and good customer service. Seller Inventory # Holz_New_031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 25.05
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Stock Image

Marilynne Robinson
Published by Picador USA, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Paperback

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: Revaluation Books, Exeter, United Kingdom

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Paperback. Condition: Brand New. reprint edition. 247 pages. 8.25x5.75x0.50 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 27.21
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 12.98
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Seller Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Softcover

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: Pieuler Store, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Seller Rating: 4-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Condition: new. Book is in NEW condition. Satisfaction Guaranteed! Fast Customer Service!!. Seller Inventory # PSN031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 19.48
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 32.44
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

Stock Image

Robinson, Marilynne
Published by Picador, 2006
ISBN 10: 031242440X ISBN 13: 9780312424404
New Paperback

Quantity: 1 available

Seller: Big Bill's Books, Wimberley, TX, U.S.A.

Seller Rating: 5-star rating, Learn more about seller ratings

Paperback. Condition: new. Brand New Copy. Seller Inventory # BBB_new031242440X

Contact seller

Buy New

US$ 52.87
Convert currency
Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

Add to basket

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book