The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Oct 1, 1999 - Fiction - 546 pages
2726 Reviews
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it -- from garden seeds to Scripture -- is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa. The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes King-solver as one of the most thoughtful and daring of modern writers.

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Extraordinary writing, poetic and funny and tragic. - LibraryThing
An Oprah selection: liberal woman's rantings. - LibraryThing
Good insight into Africa. - LibraryThing
However, the last 150 pages or so were hard to read. - LibraryThing
Kingsolver's prose is lovely and down to earth. - LibraryThing
He never asked questions or listened to advice. - LibraryThing

Review: The Poisonwood Bible

User Review  - Elisa - Goodreads

This has been in my to-read list for years. How did I not read it before? A compelling story of a missionary family in Central Africa during the 1950s. What a glimpse into a long by-gone Africa... I ... Read full review

Review: The Poisonwood Bible

User Review  - Jenni - Goodreads

I thought this book was very interesting. It made me want to look up the history of the Congo in Africa at the very least. I especially liked the device of having different people "write" the different chapters. I think this would make a good "book club" book. Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Barbara Kingsolver was born on April 8, 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland and grew up in Eastern Kentucky. As a child, Kingsolver used to beg her mother to tell her bedtime stories. She soon started to write stories and essays of her own, and at the age of nine, she began to keep a journal. After graduating with a degree in biology form De Pauw University in Indiana in 1977, Kingsolver pursued graduate studies in biology and ecology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She earned her Master of Science degree in the early 1980s. A position as a science writer for the University of Arizona soon led Kingsolver into feature writing for journals and newspapers. Her articles have appeared in a number of publications, including The Nation, The New York Times, and Smithsonian magazines. In 1985, she married a chemist, becoming pregnant the following year. During her pregnancy, Kingsolver suffered from insomnia. To ease her boredom when she couldn't sleep, she began writing fiction Barbara Kingsolver's first fiction novel, The Bean Trees, published in 1988, is about a young woman who leaves rural Kentucky and finds herself living in urban Tucson. Since then, Kingsolver has written other novels, including Holding the Line, Homeland, and Pigs in Heaven. In 1995, after the publication of her essay collection High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never, Kingsolver was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from her alma mater, De Pauw University. Her latest works include The Lacuna and Flight Behavior. Barbara's nonfiction book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was written with her family. This is the true story of the family's adventures as they move to a farm in rural Virginia and vow to eat locally for one year. They grow their own vegetables, raise their own poultry and buy the rest of their food directly from farmers markets and other local sources.

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