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Marilynne Robinson expanding Gilead trilogy: 'People should be prepared to say 'quartet''

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Lefteris Pitarakis, File/AP

Marilynne Robinson announced during a reading at Columbia University Monday night that her beloved, critically acclaimed Gilead trilogy is not over yet.

Alexander Chee, a visiting writer at Columbia and one of Robinson’s former students, tweeted the news from the event: “Oh my god, Marilynne Robinson just said there will be a 4th Gilead novel. “People should be prepared to say quartet instead of triology.“” He told the Washington Post that Robinson’s announcement came “without any warning.”

Says Chee: “She quickly clarified that she has had further thoughts about the characters, and that she felt confident that a fourth novel was likely. She would not, however, offer any further details about it publicly. After a questioner said her mom wanted more from Jack Boughton, she laughed and said she got that a lot from people.”

Gilead, the first novel in the series, won both the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. The second, Home, was a finalist for 2008’s National Book Award. With last fall’s Lila, Robinson won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction a second time, given earlier this month.