The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa. The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Against this backdrop, Orleanna Price reconstructs the story of her evangelist husband's part in the Western assault on Africa, a tale indelibly darkened by her own losses and unanswerable questions about her own culpability. Also narrating the story, by turns, are her four daughters—the self-centered, teenaged Rachel; shrewd adolescent twins Leah and Adah; and Ruth May, a prescient five-year-old. These sharply observant girls, who arrive in the Congo with racial preconceptions forged in 1950s Georgia, will be marked in surprisingly different ways by their father's intractable mission, and by Africa itself. Ultimately each must strike her own separate path to salvation. Their passionately intertwined stories become a compelling exploration of moral risk and personal responsibility. Dancing between the dark comedy of human failings and the breathtaking possibilities of human hope, The Poisonwood Bible possesses all that has distinguished Barbara Kingsolver's previous work, and extends this beloved writer's vision to an entirely new level. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes Kingsolver as one of the most thoughtful and daring of modern writers.
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Barbara Kingsolver's books have sold millions of copies. The Poisonwood Bible was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and her work is studied in courses ranging from English-as-a-second-language classes to seminars in doctoral programs. Yet, until now, there has been relatively little scholarly analysis of her writings. Seeds of Change: Critical Essays on Barbara Kingsolver, edited by Priscilla V. Leder, is the first collection of essays examining the full range of Kingsolver's literary output. The articles in this new volume provide analysis, context, and commentary on all of Kingsolver's novels, her poetry, her two essay collections, and her full-length nonfiction memoir, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Professor Leder begins Seeds of Change with a brief critical biography that traces Kingsolver's development as a writer. Leder also includes an overview of the scholarship on Kingsolver's oeuvre. Organized by subject matter, the 14 essays in the book are divided into three sections tha deal with recurrent themes in Kingsolver's compositions: identity, social justice, and ecology. The pieces in this ground-breaking volume draw upon contemporary critical approaches—ecocritical, postcolonial, feminist, and disability studies—to extend established lines of inquiry into Kingsolver's writing and to take them in new directions. By comparing Kingsolver with earlier writers such as Joseph Conrad and Henry David Thoreau, the contributors place her canon in literary context and locate her in cultural contexts by revealing how she re-works traditional narratives such as the Western myth. They also address the more controversial aspects of her writings, examining her political advocacy and her relationship to her reader, in addition to exploring her vision of a more just and harmonious world. Fully indexed with a comprehensive works-cited section, Seeds of Change gives scholars and students important insight and analysis which will deepen and broaden their understanding and experience of Barbara Kingsolver's work. Priscilla V. Leder has published articles in Mississippi Quarterly, ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment), Amerikastudien/American Studies, and Southern Studies. She is professor of English at Texas State University—San Marcos.
Ted Striphas tracks the methods through which the book industry has adapted (or has failed to adapt) to rapid changes in twentieth-century print culture. With examples from trade journals, news media, films, advertisements, and other commercial and scholarly materials, Striphas tells a story of modern publishing that proves, even in a rapidly digitizing world, books are anything but dead. With wit and brilliant insight, he isolates the invisible processes through which books have come to mediate our social interactions and influence our habits of consumption. This edition features a new preface in which Striphas considers the stakes of abandoning printed books in favor of digital readers.
Introduces the work of American author Barbara Kingsolver and gives suggestions for incorporating it into a reading and writing curriculum.
"The flames now appeared to lift from individual treetops in showers of orange sparks, exploding the way a pine log does in a campfire when it is poked. The sparks spiralled upward in swirls like funnel clouds. Twisters of brightness against grey sky." On the Appalachian Mountains above her home, a young mother discovers a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature: the monarch butterflies have not migrated south for the winter this year. Is this a miraculous message from God, or a spectacular sign of climate change. Entomology expert, Ovid Byron, certainly believes it is the latter. He ropes in Dellarobia to help him decode the mystery of the monarch butterflies. Flight Behaviour has featured on the NY Times bestseller list and is Barbara Kingsolver's most accessible novel yet.
This anthology examines Love's Labours Lost from a variety of perspectives and through a wide range of materials. Selections discuss the play in terms of historical context, dating, and sources; character analysis; comic elements and verbal conceits; evidence of authorship; performance analysis; and feminist interpretations. Alongside theater reviews, production photographs, and critical commentary, the volume also includes essays written by practicing theater artists who have worked on the play. An index by name, literary work, and concept rounds out this valuable resource.
The Bean Trees is bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, now widely regarded as a modern classic. It is the charming, engrossing tale of rural Kentucky native Taylor Greer, who only wants to get away from her roots and avoid getting pregnant. She succeeds, but inherits a 3-year-old native-American little girl named Turtle along the way, and together, from Oklahoma to Tucson, Arizona, half-Cherokee Taylor and her charge search for a new life in the West. Written with humor and pathos, this highly praised novel focuses on love and friendship, abandonment and belonging as Taylor, out of money and seemingly out of options, settles in dusty Tucson and begins working at Jesus Is Lord Used Tires while trying to make a life for herself and Turtle. The author of such bestsellers as The Lacuna, The Poinsonwood Bible, and Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver has been hailed for her striking imagery and clear dialogue, and this is the novel that kicked off her remarkable literary career. This edition includes a P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.
This is the first full-length scholarly work dedicated to the fiction of Kentucky-raised feminist activist and trained biologist Barbara Kingsolver. Interrogating the political efficacy of the work of an author who proclaims that art Â"should be politicalÂ" and that Â"literature should inform as well as enlightenÂ", this thesis explores the ways in which Kingsolver positions herself variously as an environmentalist, liberal, communitarian, feminist and agrarian. It unpacks the authorÂ's issues-based approach to writing fiction and its effect on her commercial popularity and through close readings of her fiction provides an assessment of this popular and critically acclaimed contemporary American writer. This study maps the oeuvre of a writer who has achieved critical success in the form of Pulitzer nominations, American Booksellers Book of the Year awards, a National Medal for Arts, and commercial success in the form of bestselling novels and even non-fiction works Â- not to mention the populist accolade of being selected as an OprahÂ's Book Club author. It analyses tropes, techniques and tensions in KingsolverÂ's novels and short stories published between 1988 and 2001, namely The Bean Trees (1988), Homeland and Other Stories (1989), Animal Dreams (1990), Pigs in Heaven (1993), The Poisonwood Bible (1998), and Prodigal Summer (2001). Rather than act as an introductory survey, this assessment posits that there exists a difficult but fruitful tension between writing fiction for readers and writing to a political agenda. Kingsolver promotes both of these through her narrative strategies and preoccupations. In the end, I argue that KingsolverÂ's pursuit of popular appeal, far from compromising her politics, is a political strategy in itself.
In The Lacuna, her first novel in nine years, Barbara Kingsolver, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, tells the story of Harrison William Shepherd, a man caught between two worlds—an unforgettable protagonist whose search for identity will take readers to the heart of the twentieth century’s most tumultuous events.
Readers of exciting, challenging and visionary literary fiction—including admirers of Norman Rush's Mating, Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, and Peter Matthiessen's At Play in the Fields of the Lord—will be drawn to this astonishingly gripping and accomplished first novel. A decade in the writing, this is an anthropological adventure story that combines the visceral allure of a thriller with a profound and tragic vision of what happens when cultures collide. It is a book that instantly catapults Hanya Yanagihara into the company of young novelists who really, really matter. In 1950, a young doctor called Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub "The Dreamers," who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He scientifically proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame and the Nobel Prize, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating personal consequences.