My name is Marian, as in Marian, the librarian. I’m not a librarian but I’ve always loved to read. On Facebook, I’ve observed that people sometimes post photos of themselves as children. I have never posted a single photo of myself as a child, though I certainly enjoy seeing the photos my friends post of themselves. So here I am, before an audience, showing a photo of myself at age 8, derriere in the air, reading a book. My big sister, in the Ohio University sweatshirt, is reading to Prince Matchabelli Bikini, as she nicknamed my little sister. We all liked to read.
I felt at ease with Mr. McPherson from the start. Mr. Conroy was scary, but I still had to call him Frank. “Don’t call me Mr. Conroy,” he said when it first came out of my mouth. “It makes me feel old.” So Frank was Frank and Marilynne Robinson was Marilynne and Mr. McPherson, who I felt the most at home with, was Jim, and I almost got comfortable calling him that.