Barbara Kingsolver: A Critical Companion

Barbara Kingsolver: A Critical Companion

Barbara Kingsolver: A Critical Companion

Barbara Kingsolver: A Critical Companion

Synopsis

Barbara Kingsolver wears the feminist mantle with joyful pride, and her spirited embrace of political themes is contagious. Responding to richly-drawn heroines along their journeys to do right by family and community, readers embrace Kingsolver's political novels, making them bestsellers. From the haunting Arizona landscape of Kingsolver's early trilogy of novels, to the lush African jungle that sets the scene in her latest, The Poisonwood Bible, Kingsolver weaves colorful tapestries with vivid prose, exceptional intelligence, and unexpected humor. DeMarr's comprehensive treatment covers not only Kingsolver's four novels, each with its own chapter, but also discusses with considerable insight her background as a feminist, as a journalist, and, most importantly, as a humanist.

Excerpt

The authors who appear in the series Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers are all best-selling writers. They do not simply have one successful novel, but a string of them. Fans, critics, and specialist readers eagerly anticipate their next book. For some, high cash advances and breakthrough sales figures are automatic; movie deals often follow. Some writers become household names, recognized by almost everyone.

But, their novels are read one by one. Each reader chooses to start and, more importantly, to finish a book because of what she or he finds there. The real test of a novel is in the satisfaction its readers experience. This series acknowledges the extraordinary involvement of readers and writers in creating a best-seller.

The authors included in this series were chosen by an Advisory Board composed of high school English teachers and high school and public librarians. They ranked a list of best-selling writers according to their popularity among different groups of readers. For the first series, writers in the top-ranked group who had received no book-length, academic, literary analysis (or none in at least the past ten years) were chosen. Because of this selection method, Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers meets a need that is being addressed nowhere else. The success of these volumes as reported by reviewers, librarians, and teachers led to an expansion of the series mandate to include some writ-

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