New issue, now live

We’ve just posted our Fall Books issue to the website, and here are some of the highlights.

Anthony Domestico on the work of Marilynne Robinson, including her new novel, Lila:

Robinson doesn’t write social realism, but that doesn’t mean she ignores social existence. Her new novel ... is a sustained examination of what it means to live within and without community. … Few novelists write better about the attractions of solitude, but Robinson acknowledges that it comes at a cost.

What most distinguishes Robinson from her peers, however, isn’t her lack of interest in writing an “issues” novel. It’s her deeply felt, deeply reasoned, deeply committed Calvinism. In essays, lectures, interviews, and novels, Robinson has returned again and again to the beauty of Calvin’s thought. For her, Calvin’s much-maligned doctrine of total depravity actually shows how loving God is: Despite our weakness and sinfulness, God loves and sustains us at every moment.

Read all of “Blessings in Disguise” here.

Also featured, reviews of the latest work from Mary Gordon, James Carroll, and Francis Fukuyama. Plus, Cathleen Kaveny on what the law can and cannot do to “restore” protections for the traditional views of marriage that social conservatives advocate. See the full table of contents for our Fall Books issue here. And while you're on the website, also read E. J. Dionne's latest column, on Barack Obama as the steward of hope in a time of cyncism.

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