Barbara Kingsolver

Add a comment with your reflections on this author.

32 comments:

Maddie R. (Brown) said...

I loved reading Barbara Kingsolver’s novels, short stories, and personal essays for my American Author Thesis. The power and pith of her core themes never failed to compel me. Kingsolver puts solid time and thought into the characters of her narratives, bringing them to life through their personal hardships and struggles. The gradual metamorphoses of both Kingsolver’s characters and their intense, moving relationships with others kept me fascinated throughout the five novels and numerous short stories and essays of hers I read. Additionally, the diversity of Kingsolver’s plots kept her books fascinating. From her frank discussion of corruption within the government, the mistreatment of minorities, the pain of loss, the glory of nature, and the importance of hope, Kingsolver’s works gripped me from cover to cover. Even after reading 2498 pages of Kingsolver’s writing, I want to read more.

Casey (Bennett) said...

I really enjoyed reading three of Barbara Kingsolver’s novels for my American Author Thesis. Her books were gripping and held my attention right through to the end of each book. In each of the novels I read, the main character had difficult obstacles to over come. It was fascinating to read about young women over coming the challenges life threw at them. I found the characters to be very relatable and I could identify with their hardships. Overall I would highly recommend Barbara Kingsolver for this project. The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven and Animal Dreams were fun and had great plots to follow. I found these books to be “page turners” and I never wanted to put them down.

Rachel (Brown) said...

I have no regrets choosing Barbara Kingsolver for Author Thesis—her books were not only very readable, but compelling as well. Her books have many common themes tying them together, which makes her a good choice for writing this paper. During my reading, I found some of her arguments becoming redundant, but the different plots held my focus. Her novels often praise nature and women. She also writes about the indigenous population and the importance of community. Kingsolver’s characters are thoroughly developed and evolve as the plot progresses, making them come alive by the end of the novel. Her main characters undergo obstacles that generally deal with family and/or their moral conscience. I read all her novels (except her new one The Lacuna) as well as many of her short stories, and I would recommend them all.

Kelly (Rose) said...

For my author thesis, I read three of Barbara Kingsolver’s novels. I read Bean Trees, Animal Dreams and The Poisonwood Bible. I enjoyed her novels, although some were quite long. Despite that, the themes were easy to pick out and the books weren’t too difficult to understand. The Poisonwood Bible was a really good book, but it was 540 pages, so just be sure to plan your reading schedule and follow it. Overall I enjoyed her books, and I think that a girl might find them to be more relatable, although a boy might enjoy them just as much.

Maggie (Rose) said...

Barbara Kingsolver has good book choices, and her writings are interesting to follow. Kingsolver’s writings are difficult at first to read, but as you continue reading the ideas and concepts she is trying to make get easier. I read The bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, which is the squeal, and Poisonwood Bible. The books are sometimes difficult to understand, but its easier if you have a theme or topic in mind, try to find a common theme as you start reading. The books I would recommend, they are not short but they are not extremely long. It is good to take notes while you read, and keep in mind themes as you take notes. Pick good quotes that will support your theme, and the paper was not too difficult to write for me, because I had a solid theme between the books.

Becky (Rose) said...

Barbara Kingsolver’s novels really got me engaged in the plot and themes. I read “Prodigal Summer”, “The Bean Trees”, and “Animal Dreams”. They weren’t hard to read at all; I could follow them fairly easily. I chose this author because she wrote basically around women’s struggles and daily lives, and the growth of women’s strength. There is also animal imagery seen in the books but I could not really write much about that in my thesis. I chose her because I thought that if I could connect with the theme, being a female of course, then it would be easier for me to understand and write about. I think that I would recommend this author, mostly for girls, because it’s an interesting read with lots of things to connect to. Although, the themes are very close analysis wise, so one may have to be careful about some slight repetition.

Brittany (Bennett) said...

As soon as I was half way through my first book, I knew that Barabara Kingsolver was a good choice for American Author Thesis. Her writing is so fantastic, that reading three of her books was not work at all, but really enjoyable. Reading about Kingsolvers female characters is easily relatable, and the challenges that they go through keep you interested until the very end. Despite this, I found that the particular themes within her books were deep enough to come up with a solid thesis. After having the opportunity to read three of her books, I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of her novels.

Jett (Bennett) said...

Wow! Kingsolver's books are a good read! I enjoyed the way the stories were told because it was easy to follow the story line, and the problems or issues that come up are not tragic enough to make stop reading. When it comes to writing about these books, quotes are everywhere! Almost all of the sentences Kingsolver writes are very descriptive, or have a deeper meaning behind them. Even though her books are long, they are worth reading in full. Sometimes, reading her stories is enjoyable.

Katya (Bennett) said...

I had fun reading Barbara Kingsolver's novels. All her books are very different yet the are similar enough to make a good thesis. Her books are very appealing to girls and women. All her books are told through the eyes of women that are struggling in their life. Her books are very emotional and will either leave you laughing or crying. She manages to tie together the everyday life of the protagonist with current and past social issues. Whether it's an enviormental crisis or the freedom of Africa. If you do Barbara Kingsolver, you must read The Poisonwood Bible. It is by far her best book. Don't let the length of the book fool you, it is a page turner that reads very fast. You will not be able to put it down. Not to say that her other books are bad but The Poisonwood Bible is a must if you choose her.

Cecilia (Brown) said...

Cecilia (Brown)

I really enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's books, I often found myself not taking notes because I was so interested in what was going to happen next. I never got bored of her books, so reading was not a problem. All her books are told through the eyes of women as they go through various stages in their life. In addition, Kingsolver has very solid and common themes found in almost all her books, making it fairly easy to come up with a good theme and from there a good thesis statement. I read Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, Prodigal Summer, THe Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna, and Animal Dreams and absolutely loved all of them. My favorites were Prodigal Summer and The Poisonwood Bible, although long they were page turners and super interesting to write about. I never got bored of Kingsolver, even after the entire year, and I highly reccomend her!

kathy fortin said...

Kathy (Brown)
Definitely choose Barbara Kingsolver if you want clear, strong themes and a fun read! I'm so glad that I chose her for Author Thesis because she creates many different strong themes that I really wanted to write about--even though I could only choose one. Her books were really engaging, fun, and I loved the way she wove her different main characters within her books together. I found her writing to be humorous, emotional, and well-crafted. I would recommend her to girls especially because she glorifies women a lot, but anyone could enjoy them.

I read: The Poisonwood Bible (which I didn't enjoy too much, but it has A LOT of good stuff for a paper), Animal Dreams, The Bean Trees/Pigs in Heaven, Prodigal Summer (my favorite), and her short stories in Homeland. I recommend them all.

Gabby (Brown) said...

Gabby (Brown)
Overall, my thoughts on Barbara Kingsolver's works are mixed. While i found them pretty easy to follow and full of themes, I thought her works were a little repetitive. She writes about the midwest and native american heritage in four of the six books i read, The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, Animal Dreams, and Homeland (a short story collection). I also read were the Poisonwood Bible, which was extremely lengthy and kind of tedious to read, but by the end of the novel you can really understand why Kingsolver is such a good writer. Finally, I read Prodigal summer, which turned out to be my favorite because it had so much evidence supporting my theme. Overall, if your'e looking for mildly challenging books with strong themes I would recommend Barbara Kingsolver for your author thesis.

Ben (Brown) said...

If you enjoy the themes of nature, community, and family, then Barbara Kingsolver is the author for you. Kingsolver returns to these themes in her novels Animal Dreams, The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, High Tide in Tucson, The Lacuna, and The Poisonwood Bible-- the novels and essay collections I read. Kingsolver also talks about motherhood/ other women issues that clearly center more towards women readers and can get boring for men. If I had to repeat the author thesis, I would definitely choose another author that favored action far more than Kingsolver. Despite Kingsolver's angle of writing that centers more towards women issues and less action, her powerful prose and unique insight into human nature can be appreciated by all.

Anonymous said...

When I read the first book, The Poisonwood Bible, in the beginning I was not fond of it. However as I read on, it grew on me and I started to engage and become mre interested in the plot. It was somewhat easy to see general themes that run through all of her novels. My favorite book was Bean Trees because I like the way it was written and the storyline. I would not recommend her third book The Lacuna because I got very bored and it was a long book so it became tedious to read. Overall I enjoyed Kingsolver's book and I would recommend reading her novels either for educational purposes or for pleasure.

Sabina Mahdavi said...

When I read the first book, The Poisonwood Bible, in the beginning I was not fond of it. However as I read on, it grew on me and I started to engage and become mre interested in the plot. It was somewhat easy to see general themes that run through all of her novels. My favorite book was Bean Trees because I like the way it was written and the storyline. I would not recommend her third book The Lacuna because I got bored and it was a long book so it became tedious to read. Overall I enjoyed Kingsolver's novels and I would recommend them for educational purposes or for pleasure.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed having Barbara Kingsolver as my author for The American Author Thesis assignment. Her books were really interesting to read and I actually enjoyed reading them. I read the books, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and Pigs in Heaven. They were all really good. The Poisonwood Bible was pretty long though so if you choose that book just make sure to manage your time well to get it finished in time. It was a really good book though, probably my favorite. All of her books really come together, making the writing part of the Author Thesis assignment really easy. Her main themes are nature, the devaluation of women, and community. Each of the women in the novels that I read all do amazing things for those around them/their society yet their actions aren't appreciated. Overall, I would really recommended doing Barbara Kingsolver for your Author Thesis Assignment as the reading is really good and manageable and so is the writing for it.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed having Barbara Kingsolver as my author for The American Author Thesis assignment. Her books were really interesting to read and I actually enjoyed reading them. I read the books, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and Pigs in Heaven. They were all really good. The Poisonwood Bible was pretty long though so if you choose that book just make sure to manage your time well to get it finished in time. It was a really good book though, probably my favorite. All of her books really come together, making the writing part of the Author Thesis assignment really easy. Her main themes are nature, the devaluation of women, and community. Each of the women in the novels that I read all do amazing things for those around them/their society yet their actions aren't appreciated. Overall, I would really recommended doing Barbara Kingsolver for your Author Thesis Assignment as the reading is really good and manageable and so is the writing for it.

Lina S. (Dube) said...


Wow. Barbra Kingsolver was an amazing author. I enjoyed reading her books. I read The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams and Pigs in Heaven. These three books were each easy to read and write the paper when it came time to begin. Her themes in those three books were very strong and evident throughout her novels and while the story lines were not what I normally read, I enjoyed her writing style and her character development. Throughout the book, I kept track of the separate themes, keeping in mind that I have to write a paper, the themes are all constant if you find the right one. I will still continue to read her books even after reading three of them and spending an entire year analyzing them. Her novels are a perfect match for American Author Thesis, if you are interested in the topics she writes about. Her novels made this thesis easy to write and rewrite seven times. I am grateful that a good friend recommended Kingsolver's novels to me and so I recommend them to whoever cannot pick an author.

Meggie said...

Meggie (Dubé) said...
I enjoyed reading Barbra Kingsolver for Author Thesis. I read Animal Dreams, Bean Trees, and Prodigal Summer. All three books had repeating themes relating to nature and life that were not too difficult to find. My favorite book was Prodigal Summer, the longest of the three books. Prodigal Summer and Animal Dreams are perfect for those interested in nature. Bean trees is not as focused on nature but it is still prominent. I had very little trouble writing my essay because there were so many connecting themes to work off of. I highly recommend Kingsolver for Author Thesis, she is a great author to have.

Anna said...

Anna (Dubé):
I chose to read Kingsolver's novels and short stories for my author thesis. Specifically I read Animal Dreams, The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, and Homeland and other short stories. Overall these books were pretty easy to read and would go by quickly for fast/moderate readers. I didn't necessarily enjoy Kingsolver's books mainly because I didn't like the topics of her books. If I was to do the author thesis process over I would probably look for a different author with more interesting books. One thing that frustrated me about Kingsolver's books was that there was a small selection of books to choose from so it was hard to find a solid theme throughout all the books I read. I would recommend Kingsolver as a back up author if you can't find an author that really interests you. Good luck!

Rachel (Anderson) said...

Barbara Kingsolver is a great author to choose for this project. Her novels are not too lengthy and they are fairly easy to read and understand. Her works are also interesting because it is easy to identify with her characters and the majority of her stories are relatable. My favorite book by her is The Poisonwood Bible because the plot was really intriguing, and although it’s long it’s an easy read because it’s so interesting. If you do Kingsolver I would definitely recommend reading this. I found it easy to write about Barbara Kingsolver because the themes she writes about are consistent throughout all of her books and stories. I would suggest that when reading her novels you keep a running list of the themes that she explores, and you will find that a lot of them are connect to all of her books.

Eliza said...


Eliza (Anderson)Barbara Kingsolver was an amazing author to choose for my author thesis project! I read four of her books, which included The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, Prodigal Summer, and finally Homeland and Other Stories. Although I truly loved the first three books, I thought that it was hard to stay engaged in her collection of short stories and would therefore steer away from reading Homeland. Her books are a little bit on the longer side and could be found tedious to some people trying to rush through, however once you are able to understand her views on any one of her many apparent themes, the books become very interesting and easy to relate to one another. Finally, although Kingsolver tends to use women as her main characters, I think that anyone, girl or boy, would be interested in her writing! Definitely consider Barbara Kingsolver for your American Author thesis…She is really great!!

Mira (Anderson) said...

I read 5 books: The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, Animal Dreams, The Poisonwood Bible, and Prodigal Summer. There is a unifying theme shown in all of the books, so writing the paper is easy. Great choice for writing Author Thesis. However, the story was a bit boring for me. Unlike most of the books we read in English class, which I enjoyed reading, the books were not so appealing to me. I found myself off task because I wasn’t really curious what is going to happen next. The language was a bit too descriptive; the story won’t proceed quickly enough to grab my attention. Overall, I would recommend Barbara Kingsolver for Author Thesis paper, since there is a unifying theme, but if you are looking for the book that would just not let your eyes leave from the book, I suggest looking for another author.

Eleanor (Anderson) said...

I would highly recommend choosing Barbara Kingsolver for Author Thesis. Her novels are enjoyable to read and easy to understand. They are not dense or difficult to get through at all. Her books aren’t too long either, making the reading manageable. Her books are different enough from each other to make them each interesting and unique, yet similar enough to write about. Most of her books are about women trying to fit in to their environment and communities. It was very easy to spot themes and patterns that were relevant in all of her works. My favorite novel was definitely The Bean Trees, so I recommend reading that one. I would also suggest reading Poisonwood Bible after you have already read a couple books because it is more complex than the others.

Olivia Gieger said...

If you even click on this link and are considering doing Barbara Kingsolver, DO BARBARA KINGSOLVER! Her books are the best novels I have read. The characters are original and interesting while also likable and relatable. The plots are all intriguing and always had me interested to continue reading. Most importantly, the themes deal with the most complex and important issues of our day. Kingsolver is a natural storyteller and her prose is extremely enjoyable to read. She incorporates countless subtle symbols and endless figurative language. Every time I opened to a page, even after already reading the books, I found dozens of words and symbols with deep meanings I did not notice the first time around. I was continually awed by Kingsolver’s works and inspired by her important messages about our world. I recommend reading Flight Behavior, Animal Dreams, Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible, and The Bean Trees.

Katie Kamio said...

I enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver’s novels. I read The Bean Trees, The Poisonwood Bible, and Animal Dreams and I loved all of them. Kingsolver writes through the perspective of female characters that center around the environment and past traumatizing experiences. She writes a lot about women empowerment especially through motherhood, and male oppression. At the beginning of The Poisonwood Bible and Animal Dreams, I was not fond of the books, but as I read on I ended up loving the storylines. Also, the themes of the storylines were easy to pick out and writing the essay was so much easier due to the abundance of evidence. I suggest writing all the themes you find in her books down, so you would be able to pick the strongest theme when writing your thesis. I recommend reading Kingsolver’s books because she wrote great books and her books were easy to connect together.

Bekki Antonelli said...

Barbra Kingsolver is a great choice for Author Thesis, especially if you love nature. KIngsolver's writing involves many metaphors using moths, the sky, and many other aspects of nature. I loved her books because the characters were thrown into these crazy situations, but the way they dealt with it is quite realistic. Another reason she's a great pick is because all her books have similar themes, so the paper isn't impossible to write. She also has over 10 books to choose from, each of which is unique and intriguing, but with many of the same general themes. I would definitely recommend Kingsolver to anyone doing Author Thesis. Even if you pick a different author, her books are still worth reading. The character development that can be seen throughout the book is very well done. Often at the start of her books, Kingsolver's characters are in a messy situation and struggle with
maturity, but they slowly evolve as the book continued. My personal favorites were the Bean Trees and Flight Behavior, but all her books are great. You won't go wrong with Kingsolver!

Madeline Rieders said...

I really enjoyed reading many of Kingsolver’s works such as The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, Animal Dreams, The Poisonwood Bible, and Homeland and other Stories. All of her works had an interesting plot with many underlying themes. Her novels all had similar characters and themes, which made it easy to read the books and connect the stories to each other. Every novel that I read contained hidden symbols, metaphors, similes, and many other examples of figurative language. Kingsolver’s writing flows very well, and the vivid description of images sounds very poetic. If you are considering choosing Barbara Kingsolver for you author, I would definitely recommend choosing her because her novels are poetic, interesting, and the plot emphasizes important themes and issues of the world today. Therefore, Kingsolver is a great author to choose for author thesis because her books present many important themes throughout all of her novels.

Maddie Noble said...

Overall, I enjoyed Kingsolver’s books, however they are quite a challenge. If you are considering Barbara Kingsolver as your author, be ready to dig deep to find connecting themes and ideas and be sure to plan out your reading! The books that I chose to read (Flight Behavior, Animal Dreams, and Pigs in Heaven) were all interesting and I was really able to connect to the female characters perspectives, but again they were all slightly long. I enjoyed reading about her characters and seeing their transformations throughout the books. If you enjoy realistic characters in real life situations, I recomend this author. In addition, her books all had underlying themes of nature which was interesting too. If you think that you would enjoy reading about themes like nature and nonconformity mixed in with strong female characters choose Kingsolver. Good luck!

Loren Andrews said...

I really enjoyed reading Kingsolver’s novels Homeland and Other Short Stories, Prodigal Summer, and Animal Dreams. Some of her books are a little long but the plot makes them worth the read. Her themes were easy to distinguish and she builds upon her ideas throughout her books, each book bringing a new layer to the theme. I really enjoyed seeing her characters grow throughout her books. However, Homeland, since it was short stories, connect less because each story had a different focus and therefore didn’t show as much character development and had a wider variety of themes. Kingsolver’s books made Author Thesis much more enjoyable as her books had great plots and were interesting reads. Since her books can be long, I would recommend that people markup her books as they go along so they don’t have to flip through the whole thing later. Kingsolver is a great choice if you enjoy themes like nature, hope, and identity.

Nick Marvan said...

I thoroughly enjoyed read Barbara Kingsolver’s books for author thesis. If you enjoy nature and books centered around nature, Kingsolver is the perfect author for you. I read the books Pigs in Heaven, Prodigal Summer, and Flight Behavior. All three books had themes that were nature heavy and connected really well with each other. Although her books connected well, it took a long time to make those connections. Her books can be long and difficult to read at times. She goes very in depth on descriptions of almost everything in her books and at times it felt like overkill to me. She wants to paint a clear picture to her reader which can be helpful, but in my opinion she tried a little too hard at times. All in all, her books really coincided with each other and I truly enjoyed reading them the majority of the time. If you are considering Kingsolver, I would highly recommend you choose her. She has great books with tons of themes and motifs that are so open to how they are interpreted and or analyzed, it makes the writing section of the project more enjoyable.

Julia Zimmer said...

Of the three books I read by Kingsolver, Flight Behavior, The Bean Trees, and Poisonwood Bible, my favorites were Flight Behavior and The Bean Trees. All of Kingsolver’s books take place during modern-day, which I found made it more interesting to read. When I started Kingsolver's books, some themes were easy to identify, such as nature, but as I read on, I noticed many underlying themes. If you are doing Barbara Kingsolver, I recommend choosing Poisonwood Bible as one of your novels, because it really helped me to connect the theme involving family conflicts between each book. Overall, I would recommend doing Barbara Kingsolver for the author thesis. Reading the books was pleasant, which made the deadline for each book run more smoothly, and the whole Author Thesis process more enjoyable.

American Author Thesis

Now that you have written your essay, we ask that you reflect on the reading portion of the experience and write 100-150 words about your author.

Think of what you write as advice for someone next year and beyond, someone who (like you were doing last fall) is thinking about choosing your author - and maybe even the same three books - to read for the assignment.