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Orange Prize, 2006

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781844081486

Price: £9.99

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In 1956, towards the end of Reverend John Ames’s life, he begins a letter to his young son: ‘I told you last night that I might be gone sometime… You reached up and put your fingers on my lips and gave me that look I never in my life saw on any other face besides your mother’s. It’s a kind of furious pride, very passionate and stern. I’m always a little surprised to find my eyebrows unsinged after I’ve suffered one of those looks. I will miss them.’

‘A visionary work of dazzling originality’ ROBERT MCCRUM, OBSERVER

‘Writing of this quality, with an authority as unforced as the perfect pitch in music, is rare and carries with it a sense almost of danger’ JANE SHILLING, DAILY TELEGRAPH

‘A beautiful novel: wise, tender and perfectly measured’ SARAH WATERS

‘A masterpiece’ SUNDAY TIMES


A beautiful novel: wise, tender and perfectly measured
Sarah Waters
Stunning... there are gems on every page of Gilead, but it is the whole construction that marks it as a great work
Daily Telegraph
The slow pulse of Robinson's writing slows the reader's eye and mind, and creates in the reading process a literary version of the narrator's spiritual experience. Gilead reminds us that words have power to spare, to forgive, to do justice
Poignant, absorbing, lyrical... Robinson manages to convey the miracle of existence itself
Los Angeles Times
So serenely beautiful and written in a prose so gravely measured and thoughtful, that one feels touched with grace just to read it
Washington Post
It is a book of such meditative calm, such spiritual intensity that it seems miraculous that her silence was only for 23 years; such measure of wisdom is the fruit of a lifetime. Robinson's prose, aligned with the sublime simplicity of the language of the bible, is nothing short of a benediction. You might not share its faith, but it is difficult not to be awed, moved and ultimately humbled by the spiritual effulgence that lights up the novel from within
Neel Mukherjee, The Times
Rapturous... astonishing... Gilead is an inspired work from a writer whose sensibility seems steeped in holy fire
Gilead is no less a masterpiece than Housekeeping
Sunday Times
Gilead is Marilynne Robinson's first novel since her highly acclaimed debut, Housekeeping, 24 years ago, and its measured prose manifests a spiritual power that well rewards the wait
Michael Arditti, Daily Mail
A visionary work of dazzling originality
Robert McCrum, Observer
Her poetic, almost biblical style of writing... flows like clear cold water and is full of quiet power while remaining oddly conversational... People say they love these books, and I can see why. Quite how they can do so without discerning within them a serious, deep, patient but modest defence of the Christian proposition, I do not know
Peter Hitchens, Mail Online
"Grace is not so poor a thing that it cannot present itself in any number of ways", Ames tells of his son; the same can be said of this book, one of the best American novels in recent memory, so replete with grace that almost anyone should find a balm in Gilead
Sarah Churchill, Times Literary Supplement
A novel as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchless and towering
Kirkus Reviews
Writing of this quality, with an authority as unforced as the perfect pitch in music, is rare and carries with it a sense almost of danger
Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph
Gilead is a refuge for readers longing for that increasingly rare work of fiction, one that explores big ideas while telling a good story
San Francisco Chronicle