Тема: Can anyone recommend me a book that involves dealing with death, grievance and loss?

The President : Marilynne, it’s wonderful to see you. And as I said as we were driving over here, this is an experiment, because typically when I come to a place like Des Moines, I immediately am rushed over to some political event and I make a speech, or I have a town hall, or I go see some factory and have wonderful conversations with people. But it’s very planned out and scripted. And typically, we’re trying to drive a very particular message that day about education or about manufacturing.

But one of the things that I don’t get a chance to do as often as I’d like is just to have a conversation with somebody who I enjoy and I’m interested in; to hear from them and have a conversation with them about some of the broader cultural forces that shape our democracy and shape our ideas, and shape how we feel about citizenship and the direction that the country should be going in.

Credit Viola Niccolai. A sense of wonder pervades the powerful essays in “The Givenness of Things,” Marilynne Robinson’s new collection.

The following conversation between President Obama and Marilynne Robinson was conducted in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 14. An audio recording of it can be heard at itunes.com/nybooks. The Editors

The President : Marilynne, it’s wonderful to see you. And as I said as we were driving over here, this is an experiment, because typically when I come to a place like Des Moines, I immediately am rushed over to some political event and I make a speech, or I have a town hall, or I go see some factory and have wonderful conversations with people. But it’s very planned out and scripted. And typically, we’re trying to drive a very particular message that day about education or about manufacturing.

I ve only read two of them: The Dress Lodger I remember little about, except I know it was dark and I enjoyed it. The characters were good, so that would be good for the poster. The Tortilla Curtain was one that I also had to read in school. I was sad, but brought up some good discussion point, so it would probably be good for your essay portion.

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The following conversation between President Obama and Marilynne Robinson was conducted in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 14. An audio recording of it can be heard at itunes.com/nybooks. The Editors

The President : Marilynne, it’s wonderful to see you. And as I said as we were driving over here, this is an experiment, because typically when I come to a place like Des Moines, I immediately am rushed over to some political event and I make a speech, or I have a town hall, or I go see some factory and have wonderful conversations with people. But it’s very planned out and scripted. And typically, we’re trying to drive a very particular message that day about education or about manufacturing.

Tóibín, an Irish novelist and essayist, is the author of Brooklyn and The Master, among many other books