Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bard Big Read: Marilyn Robinson’s Housekeeping

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:00PM
#6: Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
I’m not making a groundbreaking statement here when I tell you there are many books about women. You know, those great books that explain how women can band together, be strong, and conquer whatever comes their way simply by being themselves? Well there is hardly a man to be seen here, but this is not one of those books.
What I found to be equally heartbreaking and comforting in this story is the reality in which the women of Housekeeping live. They are not always close to one another, they do not always agree, and they are not overly sentimental. What they do is continue to go about their lives with one another, slowly transforming into the women came before them. The phenomenon of time moving both forwards and backwards is strange, but just about any girl can tell you how she’s slowly turning into her mother. And even when times are hard, with little joy to be had, there is always survival mode in which women continue to move by listening to that rarely-heard voice deep from within that somehow turns thought into action. 
It is in this book, Robinson is able to craft an ordinary story using magnificent language that never seems to break.  I was simultaneously able to look into the life of a fictional world far from my own, and into my current realm with the fine women who continue to influence my life simply by being my family. And in both worlds, there is housekeeping. 
Side note: Sometimes when I was reading on the subway, I would look at this cover and imagine that the D train was taking me to the wilderness. Maybe books shouldn’t be judged on their cover, but it’s nice when a picture can converge with a story, making it’s viewer travel along its tracks.

Readers Neil Gaiman, Nicole Quinn and Mary Caponegro perform excerpts from 
pulitzer prize winning author Marilyn Robinson'sHousekeeping. Free admission.

No comments:

Post a Comment