Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao said of the selection: "With the depth and resonance of her novels, Marilynne Robinson captures the American soul. We are proud to confer this prize on her and her extraordinary work."
"American literature has been a kind of spiritual home to me for as long as I have been aware of it. So this award could not be more gratifying," noted Robinson, author of the novels Lila, Home, Gilead and Housekeeping. Her five nonfiction books include The Givenness of Things: Essays and The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought.
"The writers that have always been most influential to me have been early American writers such as Walt Whitman and Melville," she told the Washington Post. "To a great extent, they have defined for me what language could do. So I really feel very much indebted to them and happy to be associated with them."