Moyers & Company

Season 3, Episode 41 of 52

Marilynne Robinson's new book, Lila, has been acclaimed by critics as "unflinching," "an exquisite novel of spiritual redemption and love," and "a book whose grandeur is found in its humility." This week, it was nominated for the National Book Award, the latest of a series of books set in a fictional Iowa town that began with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, published in 2004. In addition to her fiction, Robinson is also an accomplished essayist, and on this week's edition of Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers talks with her about her fervent belief in the power of grace and faith and her devotion to democracy, which she fears "we are gravely in danger of losing." She tells Moyers, "It seems sometimes as if political discourse is the cheapest intellectual environment that you can enter into... I think that pandering has seduced a lot of public behavior, made people operate at levels that they would not really consider worthy of themselves.... We relapse into what are these ancient models of cruelty and injustice." Marilynne Robinson received the 2012 National Humanities Medal from President Obama for the "moral strength and lyrical clarity" of her work. In addition to her books, she has written for a variety of publications, including Harper's, The Paris Review, and the New York Times Book Review. She is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa's renowned Writers' Workshop.

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