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Pulitzer Prize winner Dr Marilynne Robinson to receive Honorary Degree

Marilynne Robinson Monday 20 July 2015

Pulitzer Prize winning author Dr Marilynne Robinson will receive a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) at Liverpool Hope University’s graduation ceremony today at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Dr Robinson, who is winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Humanities Medal and the Orange Prize, is recognised by Liverpool Hope for both her fiction and non-fiction work, which explores issues of human thought-science, consciousness and religion.

Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice Chancellor & Rector of Liverpool Hope University, said: “As a writer, Marilynne Robinson uses her unassuming and moving style to help scores of people explore what we call the ‘big questions’. We are delighted to welcome her into the Liverpool Hope community.”


Biography: Dr Marilynne Robinson

 Marilynne Robinson is the author of Gilead, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Set in 1956 in the small town of Gilead, Iowa, Gilead takes the form of a letter written by the minister John Ames to his young son. Dying of heart disease, Ames reflects on his forefathers, looking back roughly a hundred years, beginning with the founder of the three generations of Ames preachers. Her third novel, Home, won the 2008 L.A. Times Book Prize for fiction and the 2009 Orange Prize for fiction, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent novel, Lila, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Books Critics’ Circle Award. Her first novel, Housekeeping, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award for First Fiction and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the Academy of American Arts and Letters, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Rowan Williams has described Robinson as "one of the world's most compelling English-speaking novelists", saying that hers “is a voice we urgently need to attend to in both Church and society.”

Robinson received a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award in 1990 and the prestigious Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts in 1998. She is also the author of four books of nonfiction, The Death of Adam, Absence of Mind, When I Was a Child I Read Books, and Mother Country, which was nominated for a National Book Award. A new essay collection, The Givenness of Things, is forthcoming (2015) from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. In 2013 President Obama awarded her the National Humanities Medal for “her grace and intelligence in writing.” Dr. Robinson teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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