The Politics of Reality: Coextensiveness in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
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A great deal of scholarly and critical analysis of Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize nominated debut, Housekeeping, focuses on themes of the domestic, definitions of home, and female relationships. Often read as a feminist novel and placed within the traditional narrative structure of a quest or Bildungsroman, the book is scaled down to a single political or literary perspective. But with the privilege of hindsight and the advantage of Robinson's subsequent catalogue of non-fiction writing, Housekeeping can be read as a starting point from which the rest of her non-fiction essays and lectures emanate. I argue that previous readings of the novel have been reductive because they fail to give due attention to a key concept: Housekeeping makes an important statement about the nature of reality.