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Housekeeping with Marilynne Robinson

23 April 2020,11:00 am - 14 May 2020,1:15 pm



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The small town in which Housekeeping is set is a remote outpost in Idaho, America’s Midwest. Sylvie, the principal character, is an  ‘oddball’, uncomfortable with settling in one place and afraid to take her coat lest somebody ask her to stay. But stay she does as she tries to fulfil her duty as guardian to her two abandoned nieces. In this course we will explore Robinson’s presentation of a lived alone and the social forces that shape identity making us part of a larger community even if it happens to be our worst fear.

By the end of the course you will have a good understanding of the American literary tradition in which Robinson is writing – its intimacy with the Bible and the great transcendalists, Emerson and Thoreau, for example – and an appreciation of the lyricism for which her prose has come to be so admired by everyone from Barack Obama to Bret Easton Ellis; Housekeeping happens to be my favourite contemporary novel, too, so I am doubly excited to be sharing this experience with you.

This course runs over 4 weeks and is bought as a package at £240 – this includes resources and refreshments in the break.


23 April 2020,11:00 am
14 May 2020,1:15 pm
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The livingroom
Percy Road
London, United Kingdom