In this month’s Readers’ Review, Diane invites listeners to join a discussion of “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson. The novel received the National Book Critics Circle award in 2004 and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2005. On his Facebook page, President Obama lists it as one of his favorite books. Written in the form of a letter from a dying preacher to his beloved young son, the novel begins as an account of his son’s “begats,” family history and other things he wouldn’t be able to tell him over the course of his growing up. It evolves into a way for him to work out unresolved moral issues. The story spans the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, and Kirkus Reviews describes it as “a novel as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and as moving as prayer.”


  • Susan Page Washington bureau chief for USA Today.
  • The Very Reverend Samuel Lloyd dean of the Washington National Cathedral
  • Reverend Derrick Harkins Senior Pastor of The Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D. C.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Copyright 2004 by Marilynne Robinson. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. A paperback edition was published in May 2006 by Picador:

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