Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver, 1955–, American writer, b. Annapolis, Md.; grad. DePauw Univ. (B.S., 1977), Univ. of Arizona (M.S., 1981). She studied biology and ecology and was a science writer before completing The Bean Trees (1988), a novel about a young woman who leaves Kentucky for Arizona, where she lives with a young Cherokee girl. Kingsolver's Arizona novels also include Animal Dreams (1990) and Pigs in Heaven (1993), a sequel to her first book. These works feature carefully drawn heroines, often single mothers, struggling with their roles as individuals and members of families and communities. The Poisonwood Bible (1998) is a sprawling colonial morality tale told through the saga of a missionary family in the Belgian Congo. Her fifth novel, Prodigal Summer (2000), is set in rural Appalachia. The Lacuna (2009) explores the period of 1929–51 and such real-life characters as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Leon Trotsky through the eyes of a fictional American diarist. Science in the form of climate change and the miraculous are elements of Flight Behavior (2012), which describes the impact of the arrival of migrating monarch butterflies in a rural town. Kingsolver has also written short stories, bilingual poetry, essays, and a study of an Arizona mine strike (1989). In 2004 she moved to a farm in SW Virginia; her Animal, Vegetable, Mineral (2007) recounts a year during which her family ate only what they grew themselves or bought from local sources.

See M. J. DeMarr, Barbara Kingsolver: A Critical Companion (1999).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Barbara Kingsolver: A Critical Companion
Mary Jean DeMarr.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Barbara Kingsolver
Epstein, Robin.
The Progressive, Vol. 60, No. 2, February 1996
Popular Contemporary Writers
Michael D. Sharp.
Marshall Cavendish Reference, vol.7, 2006
Librarian’s tip: "Barbara Kingsolver" begins on p. 869
Luna Moths, Coyotes, Sugar Skulls: The Fiction of Barbara Kingsolver
Cockrell, Amanda.
Hollins Critic, Vol. 38, No. 2, April 2001
The Revelatory Narrative Circle in Barbara Kingsolver's the Poisonwood Bible
Austenfeld, Anne Marie.
Journal of Narrative Theory, Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer 2006
Gardens of Auto Parts: Kingsolver's Merger of American Western Myth and Native American Myth in the Bean Trees
Himmelwright, Catherine.
The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 39, No. 2, Spring 2007
Women in Literature: Reading through the Lens of Gender
Jerilyn Fisher; Ellen S. Silber.
Greenwood Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Mothers and Children in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees (1988)" begins on p. 26
Backtalk: Women Writers Speak Out
Donna Perry.
Rutgers University Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Barbara Kingsolver" begins on p. 143
Barbara Kingsolver's Lowfat Fiction
Ryan, Maureen.
Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA), Vol. 18, No. 4, Winter 1995
Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983
Barbara Kingsolver.
ILR Press, 1989
The Literary West: An Anthology of Western American Literature
Thomas J. Lyon.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "'Why I Am a Danger to the Public' from Homeland and Other Stories (1989)" by Barbara Kingsolver begins on p. 396
Old Chestnuts
Kingsolver, Barbara.
Book, September 2000
A Good Farmer
Kingsolver, Barbara.
The Nation, Vol. 277, No. 14, November 3, 2003
The Way to Nueva Vida: In the Yucatan, Where Jaguars Lurk and Pyramids Poke out of the Forests, Human Are Learning to Live Peaceably with Nature
Kingsolver, Barbara.
Sierra, Vol. 88, No. 5, September-October 2003
Search for more books and articles on Barbara Kingsolver