Barbara Kingsolver Popular Books

Barbara Kingsolver Biography & Facts

Barbara Kingsolver (born April 8, 1955) is an American novelist, essayist and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in the Congo in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her widely known works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a non-fiction account of her family's attempts to eat locally. Her work often focuses on topics such as social justice, biodiversity and the interaction between humans and their communities and environments. Each of her books published since 1993 has been on the New York Times Best Seller list. Kingsolver has received numerous awards, including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award 2011, UK's Orange Prize for Fiction 2010, for The Lacuna, and the National Humanities Medal. She has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2000, Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize to support "literature of social change". Personal life Kingsolver was born in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1955 and grew up in Carlisle, Kentucky. When Kingsolver was seven years old, her father, a physician, took the family to Léopoldville, Congo (now Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo). Her parents worked in a public health capacity, and the family lived without electricity or running water.After graduating from high school, Kingsolver attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, on a music scholarship, studying classical piano. Eventually, however, she changed her major to biology when she realized that "classical pianists compete for six job openings a year, and the rest of [them] get to play 'Blue Moon' in a hotel lobby". She was involved in activism on her campus, and took part in protests against the Vietnam war. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Science in 1977, and moved to France for a year before settling in Tucson, Arizona, where she lived for much of the next two decades. In 1980, she enrolled in graduate school at the University of Arizona, where she earned a master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology.Kingsolver began her full-time writing career in the mid-1980s as a science writer for the university, which eventually led to some freelance feature writing, including many cover stories for the local alternative weekly, the Tucson Weekly. She began her career in fiction writing after winning a short story contest in a local Phoenix newspaper. In 1985, she married Joseph Hoffmann; their daughter Camille was born in 1987.She moved with her daughter to Tenerife in the Canary Islands for a year during the first Gulf War, mostly due to frustration over America's military involvement. After returning to the US in 1992, she separated from her husband.In 1994 Kingsolver was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from her alma mater, DePauw University. In the same year, she married Steven Hopp, an ornithologist, and their daughter, Lily, was born in 1996. In 2004, Kingsolver moved with her family to a farm in Washington County, Virginia. In 2008, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Duke University, where she delivered a commencement address entitled "How to be Hopeful".In the late 1990s she was a founding member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock and roll band made up of published writers. Other band members included Amy Tan, Matt Groening, Dave Barry and Stephen King, and they played for one week during the year. Kingsolver played the keyboard, but is no longer an active member of the band.In a 2010 interview with The Guardian, Kingsolver says, "I never wanted to be famous, and still don't … the universe rewarded me with what I dreaded most". She said she created her own website just to compete with a plethora of fake ones, "as a defence to protect my family from misinformation. Wikipedia abhors a vacuum. If you don't define yourself, it will get done for you in colourful ways".Kingsolver lives in the Appalachia area of the United States. She has said that friends in the urban literary community disparage rural areas such as Appalachia, but also that the COVID-19 pandemic might change these types of opinions as people move away from cities to practice social distancing longterm. Local-eating experiment Starting in April 2005, she and her family spent a year making every effort to eat food produced as locally as possible. Living on their farm in rural Virginia, they grew much of their own food, and obtained most of the rest from their neighbors and other local farmers. Kingsolver, her husband and her elder daughter chronicled their experiences that year in the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Although exceptions were made for staple ingredients that were not available locally, such as coffee and olive oil, the family grew vegetables, raised livestock, made cheese and preserved much of their harvest. Writing career Kingsolver's first novel, The Bean Trees, was published in 1988, and told the story of a young woman who leaves Kentucky for Arizona, adopting an abandoned child along the way; she wrote it at night while pregnant with her first child and struggling with insomnia. Her next work of fiction, published in 1990, was Homeland and Other Stories, a collection of short stories on a variety of topics exploring various themes from the evolution of cultural and ancestral lands to the struggles of marriage.The novel Animal Dreams was also published in 1990, followed by Pigs in Heaven, the sequel to The Bean Trees, in 1993. The Poisonwood Bible, published in 1998, is one of her best known works; it chronicles the lives of the wife and daughters of a Baptist missionary on a Christian mission in Africa. Although the setting of the novel is somewhat similar to Kingsolver's own childhood in DRC (then Zaire), the novel is not autobiographical.Her next novel, published in 2000, was Prodigal Summer, set in southern Appalachia. The Lacuna was published in 2009, and Flight Behavior was published in 2012. It explores environmental themes and highlights the potential effects of global warming on the monarch butterfly. Unsheltered was published in 2018 and follows two families in Vineland, New Jersey with one in the 1800s and the other in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Her latest book, published in 2022, is Demon Copperhead, which is a modern retelling of David Copperfield. Kingsolver is also a published poet and essayist. Two of her essay collections, High Tide in Tucson (1995) and Small Wonder (2003), have been published, and an anthology of her poetry was published in 1998 under the title Another America. Her essay "Where to Begin" appears in the anthology Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting (2013), published by W. W. Norton & Company. Her prose poetry also accompanied photographs by Annie Griffiths Belt in a 2002 wo.... Discover the Barbara Kingsolver popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Barbara Kingsolver books.

Best Seller Barbara Kingsolver Books of 2023

  • Incomparable World synopsis, comments

    Incomparable World

    S. I. Martin

    A visceral reimagining of 1780s London, showcasing the untold stories of AfricanAmerican soldiers grappling with their postwar freedom 'Remarkable' David Dabydeen In the years j...

  • Huck Finn, Barbara Kingsolver and the American Dream. synopsis, comments

    Huck Finn, Barbara Kingsolver and the American Dream.

    Queen's Quarterly

    MALCA LITOVITZ is teaching creative writing and busily launching her first poetry collection, To Light, to Water (Lugus Publications, 1998). Her work has appeared in Descant, Prair...

  • The Poisonwood Bible synopsis, comments

    The Poisonwood Bible

    Barbara Kingsolver

    “Powerful . . . [Kingsolver] has with infinitely steady hands worked the prickly threads of religion, politics, race, sin and redemption into a thing of terrible beauty.” Los Angel...

  • The Whispering House synopsis, comments

    The Whispering House

    Elizabeth Brooks

    "Eerie and addictive. . . . Like Wuthering Heights, The Whispering House is a melancholy novel, its characters filled with dark longings." The New York Times Book ReviewFrom the a...

  • The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals synopsis, comments

    The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals

    Becky Mandelbaum

    From the winner of the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction comes a “heartwarming and sharpwitted debut” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) set over one emotionally char...

  • Avenue of Mysteries synopsis, comments

    Avenue of Mysteries

    John Irving

    John Irving returns to the themes that established him as one of our most admired and beloved authors in this absorbing novel of fate and memory.In Avenue of Mysteries, Juan Diegoa...

  • The Haves and Have Nots synopsis, comments

    The Haves and Have Nots

    Various Authors & Barbara H. Solomon

    Collected for the first time in one volume.How does moneyor the lack of itaffect our lives? What happens when the rich meet the poor, when status comes with a price tag, when pers...

  • Among the Lesser Gods synopsis, comments

    Among the Lesser Gods

    Margo Catts

    For fans of authors like Barbara Kingsolver and Leif Enger, a stunning new voice in contemporary literary fiction."Tragedy and blessing. Leave them alone long enough, and it gets r...

  • The Life List of Adrian Mandrick synopsis, comments

    The Life List of Adrian Mandrick

    Chris White

    “With a birder’s eye for detail, White takes us on [Adrian Mandrick’s] painful, near death descent…[her] lifeaffirming conclusion reminds us that endangered species aren’t the only...

  • Simple and Free synopsis, comments

    Simple and Free

    Jen Hatmaker

    Why do we pursue more when we’d be happier with less? In this updated edition of 7, New York Times bestselling author Jen Hatmaker tells the story of how she&#x...

  • Him synopsis, comments


    Clare Empson

    'Gripping and heartbreaking' Laura Marshall, author of Friend Request'Dark and addictive' Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things'So emotionally true' Sophie Kinsella, auth...

  • At the Edge of the Haight synopsis, comments

    At the Edge of the Haight

    Katherine Seligman

    The 10th Winner of the 2019 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Awarded by Barbara Kingsolver “What a read this is, right from its startling opening scene. But even ...

  • The History of Bees synopsis, comments

    The History of Bees

    Maja Lunde

    “Imagine The Leftovers, but with honey” (Elle), and in the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this “spectacular and deeply moving” (Lisa See, New York Times bestselling ...

  • Ic3 synopsis, comments


    Penguin Books Ltd

    A celebratory 20th anniversary edition of A landmark collection from black writers across the literary spectrum'The fact that IC3, the police identity for Black, is the only collec...

  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - 10th anniversary edition synopsis, comments

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - 10th anniversary edition

    Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp & Lily Hopp Kingsolver

    “A profound, graceful, and literary work of philosophy and economics, well tempered for our times, and yet timeless. . . . It will change the way you look at the food you put into ...

  • Flight Behavior synopsis, comments

    Flight Behavior

    Barbara Kingsolver

    "Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."TimeThe extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for t...

  • Big Pig, Little Pig synopsis, comments

    Big Pig, Little Pig

    Jacqueline Yallop

    As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week'A delightful and entertaining memoir' Woman and HomeWhen Jacqueline moves to southwest France with her husband, she embraces rural villag...

  • Homeland and Other Stories synopsis, comments

    Homeland and Other Stories

    Barbara Kingsolver

    “Extraordinarily fine. Kingsolver has a Chekhovian tenderness toward her characters. . . . The title story is pure poetry.” Russell Banks, New York Times Book ReviewWith the s...

  • Barbara Kingsolver synopsis, comments

    Barbara Kingsolver

    Demon Copperhead: A Novel

    #1 New York Times Bestseller USA Today Bestseller The Globe and Mail Bestseller Publishers Weekly Bestseller A NEW YORK TIMES "TEN BEST BOOKS OF 2022" An Oprah’s Book Club Select...

  • Moonrise Over New Jessup synopsis, comments

    Moonrise Over New Jessup

    Jamila Minnicks

    Winner of the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, a thoughtprovoking and enchanting debut about a Black woman doing whatever it takes to protect all she loves a...

  • Summary of Demon Copperhead A Novel By Barbara Kingsolver synopsis, comments

    Summary of Demon Copperhead A Novel By Barbara Kingsolver

    Willie M. Joseph

    DISCLAIMERThis book does not in any capacity mean to replace the original book but to serve as a vast summary of the original book.Summary of Demon Copperhead A Novel By Barbara Ki...

  • The End of the Ocean synopsis, comments

    The End of the Ocean

    Maja Lunde & Diane Oatley

    From the author of the numberone international bestseller The History of Bees, a captivating story of the power of nature and the human spirit that explores the threat of a devasta...

  • Mudbound synopsis, comments


    Hillary Jordan

    The International Bestseller Now a major motion picture from Netflix, directed by Dee Rees, nominated in four categories for the Academy Awards. In Jordan's prizewinning debut, pre...

  • Hope Beneath Our Feet synopsis, comments

    Hope Beneath Our Feet

    Martin Keogh, Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Walker & Howard Zinn

    An inspiring anthology for anyone seeking guidance, hope, and strength in the midst of our current environmental crisisfeaturing writings from Barbara Kingsolver and Barry Lopez&#x...