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Kenner, J. (2009). Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 1980, 224 pp. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 2004, 247 pp.. Fort Da, 15(1):112-118.

(2009). Fort Da, 15(1):112-118

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 1980, 224 pp. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 2004, 247 pp.

Reviewed by
Jane Kenner, Ph.D.

The Lacanian World of Marilynne Robinson

Introduction

Marilynne Robinson is a great American original, a writer like Hawthorne or Faulkner, who searches deep into the souls of characters who live in small, forgotten towns. Since she published her first novel, Housekeeping (winner of the 1982 Pen/Faulkner award), in 1980, Robinson has been acclaimed as a writer's writer; but, in this review, I would also like to claim her as a kindred soul — that is, a writer whose portrayal of human experience invites and amplifies psychoanalytic interpretation. I do not think there is anything intentionally psychoanalytic about her writing. However, just as the reader versed in the Bible would easily grasp Robinson's biblical sensibility, it seems to me equally true that the psychoanalytically minded reader would recognize her profound portrayal of intergenerational trauma and of the individual necessity to find meaning in experience.

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