Barbara Kingsolver

Author of The Poisonwood Bible and 10+ Books

Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver


Barbara Kingsolver is a novelist, essayist and poet from the United States. She was brought up in rural Kentucky and lived in her early childhood in Africa for a short time. Kingsolver graduated from DePauw University and the University of Arizona with a degree in Biology and worked as a freelance writer prior to writing novels. Her most famous works include The Poisonwood Bible, Congo's tale of a missionary family, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle... , a non-fiction account of her family's attempts to eat locally. Her work often focuses on topics such as social justice, biodiversity, and human interaction with their communities and environments. Each of her books has been on the New York Times Best Seller list since 1993. Kingsolver has received numerous awards for The Lacuna and the National Humanities Medal, including the UK's Orange Prize for Fiction 2010. She was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2000, Kingsolver created the Bellwether Prize to support "social change literature." Kingsolver was born in 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland and grew up in Carlisle, Kentucky Rural. In what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, when Kingsolver was seven years old, her father, a doctor, took the family to the former Republic of Congo. Her parents worked in a capacity for public health, and the family lived without electricity or running water. Kingsolver studied classical piano at the DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, after graduating from high school. But eventually, when she realized that "classical pianists compete for six job openings a year and the rest [them:] get to play Blue Moon in a hotel lobby," she became involved in activism on her campus and took part in protests against the Vietnam War. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1977, moving for a year to France before settling in Tucson, Arizona, where she would live for much of the next two decades. She enrolled at the University of Arizona's graduate school in 1980, where she earned a Masters degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. Kingsolver began her full-time writing career in the mid-1980s as a university science writer, which eventually led to some freelance feature writing. After winning a short story contest in a local Phoenix newspaper, she started her career in fiction writing. She married Joseph Hoffmann in 1985, born in 1987 to their daughter Camille. During the first Gulf War, she moved with her daughter to Tenerife in the Canary Islands for a year, mostly because of frustration over American involvement in the military. After returning to the US in 1992, she separated from her husband. In 1994, her alma mater, DePauw University, awarded Kingsolver an Honorary Doctorate of Letters. She was also married to that year's Steven Hopp and was born in 1996 to their daughter Lily. Kingsolver moved to a farm in Washington County, Virginia with her family in 2004, where they are currently residing. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Duke University in 2008, where she delivered a starting address entitled "How to be Hopeful."In an interview with The Guardian in 2010, Kingsolver says, "I never wanted to be famous, and still don't, [..] the universe has rewarded me with what I was most afraid of." She says she created her own website just to compete with a plethora of fake ones," as she says. Wikipedia's vacuum abhors. If you don't define yourself, it's going to be done colorfully for you."READ MORE

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    Fiction, Literary Fiction, Non-Fiction, Memoir, Education, Adult, Feminism, Womens, Unfinished, Gender









Popular quotes by Barbara Kingsolver

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.

Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side.

Listen. To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know. In perfect stillness, frankly, I've only found sorrow.

Alice wonders if other women in the middle of the night have begun to resent their Formica.

Morning always comes.

Emelina and I took each other in. All morning I'd felt the strange disjuncture that comes from reconnecting with your past. There's such a gulf between yourself and who you were then, but people speak to that other person and it answers; it's like having a stranger as a house guest in your skin.

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