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June 04, 2009

John Calvin, literary muse

RobinsonAuthor Marilynne Robinson has won yet another prestigious award, Britain's Orange Award for a novel written by a woman. 

Robinson was typically modest about the award, saying, "I always suspect that there's someone in some obscure place who has five unpublished novels in a box in her closet. She will die and her executors will publish her novels and she will become the great spirit of the age, and all the rest of us will fall into her shadow."

Perhaps, but in the meantime Robinson stands alongside writers like Flannery O'Connor (another award-winning female) who have managed to write about faith with such artistry that they transcend the usual sacred/secular divide.

Robinson, a professed Calvinist, says:

One of the things that I like about the theology is the assumption that one is flawed. You never do anything exactly right, you never achieve what you aspire to.

That tension, she says, makes great story fodder. Let's hope it inspires her to a few more novels.

(Image © Reuters)

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