Hymns of Gratitude
An Essay on the Work of Marilynne Robinson
on the Occasion of her newest novel, Lila
By Rachel Marie Stone
(This essay originally appeared in our print magazine, Advent 2014 issue. Are you a subscriber? Get more info and signup now!)
“I don’t know how to say this,” I said to Marilynne Robinson, as she signed her name to my copy of her fourth and most recent novel, Lila, “but I feel that your writing has changed my life for the better, and I want to thank you for that.”
“Thank you for telling me,” she said, looking right into my eyes, utterly in earnest—none of the “yes, yes, thank you for reading” dismissal one might expect from a writer who has received as much attention and acclaim as she has. “That is good to know,” she said. I gathered up my signed copy and ducked away, blushing. I felt like I was leaving the communion rail.