Marilynne Robinson's essay collection on America to Virago

Marilynne Robinson's essay collection on America to Virago

Virago has bought a new collection of essays from multi award-winning American novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson called What Are We Doing Here? which asks "how America should talk about itself now".

Robinson, who is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, Orange-Prize winning Home and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Lila (all Virago), will also be asking readers in her essays: "what is freedom of conscience?" and "what we can we do to be directed to and encourage an honourable life", according to Virago.

The collection will publish in autumn 2018. It follows two other collections published by Virago, When I was a Child I Read Books, about the place literature has in life, and The Givenness of Things, including a published conversation with president Barack Obama.

Lennie Goodings, Virago publisher, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Claire Roberts, on behalf of Ellen Levine at Trident Media.

Goodings said: "To be nourished and challenged, to learn and be fascinated – that is what it is to read the thoughts of one of today’s most important thinkers."

The deal was concluded last week while Robinson, the recipient of a National Humanities Medal awarded by president Barack Obama for "her grace and intelligence in writing", spoke to Westminster Abbey on Integrity on 7th March.