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Review: Kingsolver's Homeland and Other Stories

I wrote some time back about one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver. I've read most of her fiction, working on some of her non-fiction, and have now just completed a book of her short stories as #2 in my 52-books-goal: (#3 and 4 are almost complete, really.) Homeland and Other Stories.

The book - the stories - were fabulous. A dozen stories in all, about 20 pages each, which make them nice reads. If you aren't ready to tackle a whole book of hers yet, maybe the short stories are a place to start. My favorites: "Islands on the Moon," "Why I Am a Danger to the Public," and "Rose-Johnny," but really, they're all great. Kingsolver, with her background in biology, seems knowledgeable on such a wide range of topics, and her stories benefit from her intelligence.

A couple quotes:
from "Covered Bridges,": "And to think I nearly didn't. A person could spend most of a lifetime in retrospective terror, thinking of all the things one nearly didn't do." (pg. 46)

And the best, from "Islands on the Moon," a conversation between mother and daughter:
"'I don't know', Magda says. 'Seems like that's just how it is with you and me. We're like islands on the moon.'
'There's no water on the moon,' says Annemarie.
'That's what I mean. A person could walk from one to the other if they just decided to do it.'" (pg. 146)

Comments

John said…
Overall, where do your reading interests lie? Particular genres, or eclectic?
Peter said…
I very much enjoyed that story collection, too. I also enjoyed her novel, Prodigal Summer, even though I realized about halfway through that she was lecturing her readers on conservation biology (and very ably; I agreed with her ideas, I might add). Trouble with that is, her book was a bit too-obviously a vehicle for those ideas and less about the relationships so important to the story.

But then, I've read Prodigal Summer twice. And may read it again. It's that good...
Anonymous said…
I prefer when people use "quote" as a verb and "quotation" as a noun.
Beth Quick said…
So call me informal.

quote ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kwt)
v. quot·ed, quot·ing, quotes
v. tr.
To repeat or copy the words of (another), usually with acknowledgment of the source.
To cite or refer to for illustration or proof.
To repeat a brief passage or excerpt from: The saxophonist quoted a Duke Ellington melody in his solo.
To state (a price) for securities, goods, or services.

v. intr.
To give a quotation, as from a book.

n.
Informal. A quotation.
A quotation mark.
Used by a speaker to indicate the beginning of a quotation.
A dictum; a saying.

John - I prefer reading fiction, and fiction that reads like 'classic' fiction - Louisa May Alcott is a good example. But I'll read anything if it comes highly recommneded.

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