Marilynne Robinson, the Pulitzer-winning novelist, is a confounding writer in today’s political alignment. Her new essay collection, “When I Was a Child I Read Books,” is — despite the sentimentality of its title — fundamentally a leftist political manifesto and lament for America’s loss of faith in government. Yet it grants a central argument of many religious conservatives — that America’s virtues are indeed steeped in biblical thought. “When I Was A Child” is a broadside defense of literature and classical liberalism that demands we include the unfashionable Old Testament as a foundation of both. Through rigorous citation and deep personal reflection, Robinson builds an excellent case. New Atheists like Sam Harris and medieval nostalgists like Rick Santorum would each find occasions for garment-rending in this collection.
More from August Brown at the LA Times here.