Barbara Kingsolver Popular Books

Barbara Kingsolver Biography & Facts

Barbara Kingsolver (born April 8, 1955) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, essayist, and poet. Her widely known works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a nonfiction account of her family's attempts to eat locally. In 2023, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the novel Demon Copperhead. Her work often focuses on topics such as social justice, biodiversity, and the interaction between humans and their communities and environments. Kingsolver has received numerous awards, including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award 2011 and the National Humanities Medal. After winning for The Lacuna in 2010 and Demon Copperhead in 2023, Kingsolver became the first author to win the Women's Prize for Fiction twice. Each of her books published since 1993 has been on the New York Times Best Seller list.Kingsolver was raised in rural Kentucky, lived briefly in the Congo in her early childhood, and currently lives in the Appalachia area of the United States. She earned degrees in biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. In 2000, Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize to support "literature of social change". Biography Kingsolver was born in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1955 and grew up in Carlisle, Kentucky. When Kingsolver was seven, 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. She changed her major to biology after realizing 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.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 United States 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 said, "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 defense to protect my family from misinformation".Kingsolver lives in the Appalachia area of the United States. She said in 2020 that rural America is generally regarded by artistic elites with "a profound antipathy". Writing career Kingsolver began her full-time writing career in the mid-1980s as a science writer for the University of Arizona, which eventually led to 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.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. Every book that Kingsolver has written since Pigs in Heaven has been on The New York Times Best Seller list.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 the Democratic Republic of Congo (then "the Democratic Republic of Zaire"), the novel is not autobiographical. The novel was chosen as an Oprah's Book Club selection.The Poisonwood Bible won the National Book Prize of South Africa and was shortlisted for both the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award.Her next novel, published in 2000, was Prodigal Summer, set in southern Appalachia. In 2000, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by the U.S. President Bill Clinton.Kingsolver wrote a Los Angeles Times opinion piece following the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks, which received criticism. She wrote, "I feel like I'm standing on a playground where the little boys are all screaming at each other, 'He started it!' and throwing rocks that keep taking out another eye, another tooth. I keep looking around for somebody's mother to come on the scene saying, 'Boys! Boys! Who started it cannot possibly be the issue here. People are getting hurt.'" By some accounts, she was "denounced as a traitor," but rebounded from these accusations and later wrote about them.Starting in April 2005, Kingsolver 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 of that year in the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, published in 2007. Although exceptions were made for staple ingredients .... Discover the Barbara Kingsolver popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Barbara Kingsolver books.

Best Seller Barbara Kingsolver Books of 2024

  • And West Is West synopsis, comments

    And West Is West

    Ron Childress

    “This compelling debut novel, which won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, dramatically examines the insidious role unrestrained technology plays in the moral a...

  • 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...

  • Writing What You Know synopsis, comments

    Writing What You Know

    Meg Files

    It's easy for people to write about their feelings in a journal. It's more difficult, however, to convert personal experiences into stories worthy of publicationfiction, nonfiction...

  • To Sing of War synopsis, comments

    To Sing of War

    Catherine McKinnon

    From the author of the Miles Franklin Award shortlisted Storyland, comes a rich, layered and thrilling novel of love, war and friendship, To Sing of War.December 1944: In New Guine...

  • Understanding Barbara Kingsolver synopsis, comments

    Understanding Barbara Kingsolver

    Ian Tan

    The most uptodate and unified study of critically acclaimed and bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver.In Understanding Barbara Kingsolver, Ian Tan situates Kingsolver's oeuvre in a...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Summary of Demon Copperhead synopsis, comments

    Summary of Demon Copperhead

    Tina Evans

    "Demon Copperhead" by Barbara Kingsolver is a transformative tale of resilience, addiction, and redemption. In this gripping story, you'll discover: The story of a resilient y...

  • A House for Alice synopsis, comments

    A House for Alice

    Diana Evans

    A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR  Longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction​ A sweeping and beautifully rendered exploration of home and yearning, follow...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Moonrise Over New Jessup synopsis, comments

    Moonrise Over New Jessup

    Jamila Minnicks

    "With compelling characters and a heartpounding plot, Jamila Minnicks pulled me into pages of history I’d never turned before."―Barbara Kingsolver, New York Times bestsel...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Country Grit synopsis, comments

    Country Grit

    Scottie Jones

    Scottie Jones lived a typical suburban, professional life in Phoenix until her husband, Greg, got into a nearfatal car accident. While recovering, he became convinced that they nee...

  • 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 DabydeenIn the years just ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Kickdown synopsis, comments


    Clarren Rebecca

    When Jackie Dunbar's father dies, she takes a leave from medical school and goes back to the family cattle ranch in Colorado to set affairs in order. But what she finds derails her...

  • You Be Mother synopsis, comments

    You Be Mother

    Meg Mason

    What do you do, when you find the perfect family, and it's not yours? A charming, funny and irresistible novel about families, friendship and tiny little white lies.The only thing ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • Blood Meridian synopsis, comments

    Blood Meridian

    Cormac McCarthy

    25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION From the bestselling author of The Passenger and the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Road: an epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended Amer...

  • 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...

  • 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...