Essays

Read an extract from You Play the Girl

We all know who The Girl is. She holds The Hero’s hand as he runs through the Pyramids, chasing robots. Or she nags him, or foils him, plays the uptight straight man to his charming loser. She’s idealised, degraded, dismissed, objectified and almost always dehumanised. How do we process these insidious portrayals, and how do…

Marilynne Robinson and Barack Obama in conversation

Robinson has plumbed the depths of the human spirit in her trilogy of novels – Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, Orange-Prize winning Home and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Lila – and in her moving essay collection When I Was a Child I Read Books. Now, in The Givenness of Things, she brings a profound sense of awe and…