In 2004, Marilynne Robinson “returned to fiction” — for the first time in nearly two decades — “with the novel Gilead, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Her third novel, Home, came out this fall,” according to this introduction to an interview with the author in The Paris Review.
…When a question gave her pause during our interview, she’d often shrug and say, “Calvin again,” and then look away as if the sixteenth-century Frenchman were standing in the room waiting to give her advice.
Robinson is a Christian whose faith is not easily reduced to generalities. Calvin’s thought has had a strong influence on her, and she depicts him in her essays as a misunderstood humanist, likening his “secularizing tendencies” to the “celebrations of the human one finds in Emerson and Whitman.”