When I Was a Child I Read Books by by Marilynne Robinson

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The best novelist in the United States reminds us once again why she's also the country's best essayist in this impassioned defense of public education, the Hebrew Bible, progressive income taxes, thinking, and other unfashionable causes. Ranging across topics from the national debt to the Idaho public schools to the craters on Mercury—not to mention her mainstay, John Calvin—Robinson both insists on and, in her rich, clear style, demonstrates what readers of Thoreau and Twain have always known to be true: that pressing public issues deserve to be discussed in a language that aims for poetry and rarely misses. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

About the Author

Phil Christman teaches English at the University of Michigan and attends St. Clare's Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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