Barbara Kingsolver is one of the noteworthy authors of America who has written a number of well known novels based on the subjects of feminism, social justice, and environmentalism. Apart from being a successful novelist, she is also a popular essayist and poet, and has written many literature & fiction novels, nonfiction and historical fiction works as well as poetry. Barbara has been raised in Kentucky during her growing years and has also spent some time in her early childhood in the Congo. She has obtained her academic degrees in biology from the University of Arizona and the DePauw University. Before going on to write novels on a full time basis, Barbara used to work as a freelance writer. Some of the widely popular works of author Barbara include Animal, Miracle, Vegetable, and The Poisonwood Bible, which is the story of a missionary family living in the Congo. Most of the literary work of her often focuses on the important topics such as biodiversity, social justice, and the interaction of the humans with their environments and the communities.
Each of the novels that author Barbara has published after the year 1993 has featured on the New York Times Bestseller list. Author Barbara has won a number of awards in her writing for her successful novels, including the Orange Prize, the Dayton Peace Prize, the National Humanities Medal, etc. She has also received nominations for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. In the year 2000, author Barbara introduced the Bellwether Prize in order to extend her support for the literature of social change. Barbara Kingsolver was born on April 08, 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland, United States. She spent most of the days of her youth on one of the alfalfa farms of her family located in eastern Kentucky. When she was seven years old, she was taken to the Democratic Republic of Congo along with her family by her father, who was a physician by profession. He was asked to work in the field of public health in the Congo. In the year 1973, Barbara joined the DePauw University, located in Indiana. She was actively involved in her campus in protesting against the wars going on in Vietnam. She obtained her bachelor’s degree and soon moved to Soissons in France. She lived there for a period of one year. Then in the year 1980, author Barbara enrolled herself in one of the graduate schools at the Arizona University and earned her master’s degree in the subjects of evolutionary biology and ecology.
Barbara used to write for the science journal of the university, which helped her to get a full time freelance feature work. The first novel written by author Barbara was published in the year 1988 under the title ‘The Bean Trees’. She says that she had completed the book while she was pregnant with her first child and struggling with severe insomnia. The success of the novel was followed by other books as well as short stories in her writing career. Many of the articles written by author Barbara have featured in a number of well known publications such as Smithsonian, The New York Times, and The Nation. In the year 1985, Barbara got married for the first time while working as a freelance writer in Arizona. Joseph Hoffman became her husband, with whom she Barbara has her first daughter named Camilie. She moved along with Camilie to Tenerife in the Canary Islands during the time of the first Gulf War. After returning home in the year 1992, Barbara separated from Joseph Hoffman. Then in the year 1994, she was awarded with an honorary doctorate and married for the second time to an ornithologist named Steven Hopp. Two years later, she gave birth to her second daughter named Lily. As of today, Barbara lives in Washington County on a farm located in southeastern Virginia, along with family.
One of the initial novels written by author Barbara Kingsolver was published under the title ‘Prodigal Summer’. It was released in the year 2000 by the Harper Perennial publishing house. The plot of the novel is set in Egg Fork, Zebulon County, Kentucky, United States, and revolves around the lives of the main characters named Deanna Wolfe, Lusa Maluf Landowski, Nannie Rawley, Eddie Bondo, and Garnett Walker. The novel depicts 3 stories of love by the humans living in the larger tapestry in the forested mountains of the southern Appalachians. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, Deanna Wolfe is introduced as a wildlife biologist. She is described as having a reclusive nature. Quite often, Deanna Wolfe watches the den of coyotes, who seems to have migrated into her region recently, from her outpost located in an isolated cabin on the mountain. She gets caught off-guard by one of the young hunters and even her most private spaces get invaded by him. The hunter also confounds the solitary and self-assured life of Deanna. On one of the other farms located a few miles down the mountain, Lusa Maluf Landowski is shown as a city girl turned a farmer’s wife. She is depicted as getting herself marooned unexpectedly in the strange place and is required to declare or lose her strong attachment to the farm that has now become a part of her life. In one of the other farms located further down the road, a couple of old neighbors are shown as tending their respective farms and wrangling about pesticides, God, a possible future which is unexpected by both of them. And during one humid summer, all the characters find a connection between each other. They also realize their relation with the flora and fauna of their shared place. In the end, the novel demonstrates a balance between the drama, narrative, and the ideas that are characteristic of the finest works of author Barbara.
One of the other initial novels written by author Barbara Kingsolver was titled ‘Small Wonder’. It was published by the Harper Perennial publishing house. This novel is written in the form of an essay collection and depicts one of the darker moments of history in the form of an extended love song of the wonderful world of the humans, as described by author Barbara Kingsolver. The plot of the novel shows that whether the author is contemplating her vegetable garden, genetic engineering, motherhood, the future of a nation built on better human impulses, or the Grand Canyon, one thing remains common in each of them. All of the essays are based on the belief of author Barbara that the largest problems faced by the humans are grown from the remotest corners of the earth and from the backyards of its own people. Also, the answers to all those problems lie in both these places. On the whole, the novel seems occasionally hilarious, ultimately persuasive, and sometimes very grave. It appears to be a hopeful examination of what we really are and what we can develop ourselves into in the times to come.
Books in order of publication by series:
Greer Family Books
|The Bean Trees||(1988)|
|Pigs in Heaven||(1993)|
|The Poisonwood Bible||(1998)|
Short Story Collections
|Homeland and Other Stories||(1989)|
|The Best American Short Stories 2001||(2001)|
Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books
|High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never||(1995)|
|Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983||(1996)|
|Small Wonder: Essays||(2002)|
|Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands||(2002)|
|Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Season Eating||(2007)|