Friday, October 15, 2004

Barbara Kingsolver

I do a lot of traveling by car, so I’ve become a big fan of books-on-tape, and I just finished listening to Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees. I have already read Prodigal Summer, Animal Dreams, and The Poisonwood Bible, and I loved them all. In fact, I would say that The Poisonwood Bible is one of the best works of fiction I have read, ever. I could quote whole sections, chapters, of her book. I found it just so profound and meaningful – the way she develops her characters and shows them growing, transforming, or not growing, despite all that happens. The book follows the Price family – a missionary family – as they travel to Africa to live and work – particularly through the eyes of the four young – and very different – daughters. The religious and social layers, the cultural issues, racism, justice concerns, etc., that are woven seamlessly in – I’m just in awe of Kingsolver’s skills.
So, I was playing around online to find out if the characters I grew attached to make it in to Pigs in Heaven, the sequel, which I have yet to check out from the library, and I found that Kingsolver has quite a nice website with a big FAQs section as well as study guides for reading groups that give some good, probing questions to use along with her books. Check it out.
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