Rachel Cohen

  • Church Fathers

    For Marilynne Robinson, crafting a novel is a way to consider both the work of divinity and that of human obligation. The word craft has for her its Old English meaning—strength—and is intended to be not merely painstaking but expressive of understanding. The odd beauty attained by Home, its method of fitting together with her Pulitzer Prize–winning previous novel, Gilead (2004), the moral discoveries that her characters seem almost to demand of themselves—these are in fact also matters of craft and can be studied in the lathing of the novel’s planks, the jointures of its corners.

    In conceiving