A Year of Food Life
Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they''d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.
Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.
Dimensions: 8.0" L x 5.6" W
Details: Paperback, 370 pages
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Provocative . . . Kingsolver . . . evokes the sheer joy of producing one's own food.
"Faithful, funny, and thought-provoking...Readers-whether vegetarian or carnivore-will not go hungry, literally or literarily."
"I defy anyone to read this book and walk away from it without gaining at least the desire to change."
"A lovely book. "
—Los Angeles Times
"Kingsolver dresses down the American food complex.These down-on-the-farm sections are inspiring and.compelling."
"If you're interested in learning more about healthful eating, you'll want to read.ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE."
"An impassioned, sensual, smart and witty narrative.Kinsolver is a master at leavening a serious message with humor."
—St. Petersburg Times
"Kingsolver.adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us...[A] vicarious taste of domesticity."
—Christian Science Monitor
"[Kingsolver is] a master storyteller, and even those who've heard this tale before will be captivated."
"Charming, zestful, funny and poetic.a serious book about important problems."
—Washington Post, Book World
—Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe
"Full.of zest and sometimes ribald humor. Reading this book will make you hungry."
—Raleigh News & Observer
"Every bit as transporting as-and more ecologically relevant than-any "Year In Provence"-style escapism...Earthy...informative....[and] englightened."
"Anyone who read and appreciated THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA by Michael Pollan will want to read Barbara Kingsolver's book."
"Kingsolver carries us along in her distinct and breezy prose."
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Wry, insightful and inspiring to anyone who yearns to work with the earth."
—Chicago Tribune (on the audiobook) )
"Classy and disarming, substantive and entertaining, earnest and funny....Kingsolver takes the genre to a new literary level."
"ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE is a chronicle of food feats.I'm inclined to agree with most points Kingsolver makes."
"Loaded with terrific information about everything from growth hormones to farm subsidies."
"[This] is a book that, without being preachy, makes a solid case for eating locally instead of globally."
"ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE makes an important contribution to the chorus of voices calling for change.""
"A profound, graceful, and literary work . . . Timeless. . . . It can change who you are."
—Rick Bass, Boston Globe
"Charming . . . Literary magic . . . If you love the narrative voice of Barbara Kingsolver, you will be thrilled."
"Kingsolver, who writes evocatively about our connection to place, does so here with characteristic glowing prose. She provides the rapture."
"Charming...and persuasive...Each season-and chapter-unfolds with a natural rhythm and mouth-watering appeal."
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"If you...buy...one book this summer, make it this one...As satisfying and complete as a down home supper."
"Equal parts folk wisdom and political activism . . . This family effort instructs as much as it entertains."
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Kingsolver elegantly chronicles a year of back-to-the-land living.Readers...will take heart and inspiration here."
"Delectable . . . steeped in elegant prose and seasoned with smart morsels about the food industry."
"A terrific effort. The delight for readers.is the chance to experience the rediscovery of community through food."
—The Oregonian (Portland)
"Kingsolver beautifully describes this experience."
"Homespun, unassuming, informed, positive, inspiring. . . . Unstinting in its concerns about this imperiled planet."
"Engaging.Absorbing.Lovely food writing.[Kingsolver] succeeds at adopting the warm tone of a confiding friend."
—Corby Kummer, New York Times Book Review
"[Written] with passion and hope.This novelist paints a compelling big picture-broad and ambitious, with nary an extraneous stroke."
—Rocky Mountain News
"Warmhearted, resilient… Barbara Kingsolver writes in a voice that is not only for the people, but of the people."
—Women's Review of Books
About Barbara Kingsolver
—Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland, and grew up in rural Kentucky. She counts among her most important early influences: the Bookmobile, a large family vegetable garden, the surrounding fields and woods, and parents who were tolerant of nature study (anything but snakes and mice could be kept in the house), but intolerant of TV.
Beginning around the age of nine, Barbara kept a journal, wrote poems and stories, and entered every essay contest she ever heard about. Her first published work, "Why We Need a New Elementary School," included an account of how the school's ceiling fell and injured her teacher. The essay— was printed in the local newspaper prior to a school-bond election; the school bond passed. For her efforts Barbara won a $25 savings bond, on which she expected to live comfortably in adulthood.
After high school graduation she left Kentucky to enter DePauw University on a piano scholarship. She transferred from the music school to the college of liberal arts because of her desire to study practically everything (including one creative writing class), and graduated with a degree in biology. She spent the late 1970's in Greece, France and England seeking her fortune, but had not found it by the time her work visa expired in 1979. She then moved to Tucson, Arizona, out of curiosity to see the American southwest, and eventually pursued graduate studies in evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. During her student and post-college years she supported herself in a wide variety of jobs including typesetter, housecleaner, medical laboratory technician, artist's model, archaeological assistant, translator, teaching assistant, and copy editor. After graduate school she worked as a scientific writer for the University of Arizona before becoming a freelance journalist.
Kingsolver's short fiction and poetry began to be published during the mid-1980's, along with the articles she wrote regularly for regional and national periodicals. She wrote her first novel, The Bean Trees, entirely at night, in the abundant free time made available by chronic insomnia during pregnancy. Completed just before the birth of her first child, in March 1987, the novel was published by HarperCollins the following year with a modest first printing. Widespread critical acclaim and word-of-mouth support have kept the book continuously in print since then. The Bean Trees has now been adopted into the core curriculum of high school and college literature classes across the U.S., and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
She has written eleven more books since then, including the novels Animal Dreams , Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible, and Prodigal Summer ; a collection of short stories (Homeland ); poetry (Another America ); an oral history (Holding the Line ); two essay collections (High Tide in Tucson, Small Wonder); a prose-poetry text accompanying the photography of Annie Griffiths Belt (Last Stand— ); and most recently, her first full-length narrative non-fiction, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She has contributed to dozens of literary anthologies, and her reviews and articles have appeared in most major U.S. newspapers and magazines. Her books have earned major literary awards at home and abroad, and in 2000 she received the National Humanities Medal, our nation's highest honor for service through the arts.
In 1997 Barbara established the Bellwether Prize, awarded in even-numbered years to a first novel that exemplifies outstanding literary quality and a commitment to literature as a tool for social change.
Barbara is the mother of two daughters, Camille and Lily, and is married to Steven Hopp, a professor of environmental sciences. In 2004, after more than 25 years in Tucson, Arizona, Barbara left the southwest to return to her native terrain. She now lives with her family on a farm in southwestern Virginia where they raise free-range chickens, turkeys, Icelandic sheep, and an enormous— vegetable garden.
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