Small Wonder: Essays (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In these beautifully powerful and wide-ranging essays, Kingsolver brings her passion to bear on large issues—globalism, war and genocide, genetically engineered foods, hunger and homelessness—while embracing the virtues of conservation, wild places, buying organic and locally grown foods, biodiversity, sustainable living, poetry, basic human kindness, and, yes, independent bookstores. Yet she writes as though she's speaking to you over coffee, and her words spring from the ground of specific observations in the places where she lives and visits: a bobcat seen outside a window of her home in the Tucson hills, scarlet macaws spotted in a Costa Rican jungle, a clutch of eggs gathered from her daughter Lily's chicken coop. How fortunate we are to have a brilliant novelist whose keyboard clicks every bit as lively for her nonfiction. ~ John

— From John


In twenty-two wonderfully articulate essays, Barbara Kingsolver raises her voice in praise of nature, family, literature, and the joys of everyday life while examining the genesis of war, violence, and poverty in our world

From the author of High Tide in Tucson, comes Small Wonder, a new collection of essays that begins with a parable gleaned from recent news: villagers search for a missing infant boy and find him, unharmed, in the cave of a dangerous bear that has mothered him like one of her own. Clearly, our understanding of evil needs to be revised. What we fear most can save us. From this tale, Barbara Kingsolver goes on to consider the chasm between the privileged and the poor, which she sees as the root cause of violence and war in our time. She writes about her attachment to the land, to nature and wilderness, trees and mountains-the place from which she tells her stories. Whether worrying about the dangers of genetically engineered food crops, or creating opportunities for children to feel useful and competent - like growing food for the family’s table - Kingsolver looks for small wonders, where they grow, and celebrates them.

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Praise For…

“Observant, imaginative, and both lucid and impassioned.”
— Book Magazine

“This book of essays by Barbara Kingsolver is like a visit from a cherished old friend.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Kingsolver possesses a rare depth of understanding of nature’s complex mechanisms.”
— San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“A delightful, challenging, and wonderfully informative book.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Essays … [of] great skill and wisdom.”
— Booklist
Product Details
ISBN: 9780060504083
ISBN-10: 0060504080
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: April 15th, 2003
Pages: 288
Language: English