“Her father always said, ‘That loneliness of his,’ and when she saw it in him now, she felt lonely, even abandoned for the moment it lasted . .”

Robinson2Writing about loneliness is surely one of those tricks that should come with the warning “Do not attempt this at home.” Often, descriptions of loneliness trigger disengagement. It takes a master, such as Marilynne Robinson, to write a novel about loneliness that’s a page-turner. In an interview, when asked why she writes about ‘the problem of loneliness,’ she replied “It’s not a problem. It’s a condition. It’s a passion of a kind. It’s not a problem.” Perhaps that perspective contributes to the success of this work, which one reviewer said is “one of the saddest books I have ever loved.

Marilynne Robinson, Home (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), 85.

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