Let’s Talk About it, Oklahoma’s 2018 series “Living with Limits,” continues October 9th with ‘Gilead (2004)’
Dr. Karen Youmans, Oklahoma City University Honors Program, presents ‘Gilead,’ by Marilynne Robinson. In the Pulitzer Prize and National Critics Book Circle Award winner Gilead, Robinson’s minister John Ames reflectively penetrates through three generations of family history in his diary as he constructs a long, meditative letter for his young son to read in the future when grown. In a sense, he is doing what Kalanithi may also be trying to do for his young daughter in the closing months of his life, searching for a way to communicate with his child who will one day mature to be able to read what each father has left. As a Congregational minister in a small Iowa town, Ames wanders through memories of his abolitionist grandfather and his pacifist father trying to understand how God and grace work in the world. Since we read this epistolary work, we are a surrogate audience akin to the son he intends to write for. He explores the degree to which he has freely chosen his ministry vocation or been carried along by family expectation. Fundamentally, Ames, lonely and unsure of whether he has been fair to marry a much younger woman and father a son, agonizes in language charged with spirituality about the transcendent and the material world.
This presentation is a part of the Oklahoma Humanities Let’s Talk About It Oklahoma “Living with Limits.” All are welcome to attend.
All sessions take place on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM in Room 151 of Walker Center,
Petree College of Arts & Sciences, at NW 26th & N. Florida