Gilead, Part I, Prayer and Writing

I will be making a record of influential excerpts from Marilynne Robinson’s novel, Gilead. This book is itself a long letter from a father (John Ames) to his son. John Ames is a pastor, a son of a pastor, and a grandson of a pastor.

Part 1, Prayer and Writing:

For me writing has always felt like praying, even when I wasn’t writing prayers, as I was often enough. You feel that you are with someone. I feel I am with you now, whatever that can mean, considering that you’re only a little fellow now and when you’re a man you might find these letters of no interest. Or they might never reach you, for any number of reasons. Well, but how deeply I regret any sadness you have suffered and how grateful I am in anticipation of any good you have enjoyed. That is to say, I pray for you. And there’s an intimacy in it. That’s the truth.

(p. 19)

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