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Small Wonder: Essays

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Small Wonder: Essays Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

For her critically acclaimed and wildly popular novels, such as Animal Dreams and The Poisonwood Bible, Time magazine has declared Barbara Kingsolver "a gifted magician of words." In her newest book, Small Wonder, she demonstrates that her facility doesn't confine itself to fiction. Kingsolver uses this collection of essays to tackle controversial themes directly; many of these topics will be familiar to her readers, but several of these pieces brave new ground. A biologist as well as a writer, she combines scientific and emotional arguments for a rigorous look at farming, genetic engineering, the ecology of food, and how our choices are affecting — or destroying — the natural world. She also includes explorations of the writing and reading process, homelessness in America, the role of television in our lives, and parenting and family (two of the most moving essays in the collection are "Letter to a Daughter at Thirteen" and "Letter to My Mother"). Most of the essays here are compact and packed with an astonishing amount of information, yet they read fluidly and logically, thanks to Kingoslver's graceful prose. For fans of Kingsolver's other books or anyone interested in the state of our world, Small Wonder is an aptly titled gem. Jill, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

In her new essay collection, the beloved author of High Tide in Tucson brings to us out of one of history's darker moments an extended love song to the world we still have. From its opening parable gleaned from recent news about a lost child saved in an astonishing way, the book moves on to consider a world of surprising and hopeful prospects, ranging from an inventive conservation scheme in a remote jungle to the backyard flock of chickens tended by the author's small daughter.

Whether she is contemplating the Grand Canyon, her vegetable garden, motherhood, adolescence, genetic engineering, TV-watching, the history of civil rights, or the future of a nation founded on the best of all human impulses, these essays are grounded in the author's belief that our largest problems have grown from the earth's remotest corners as well as our own backyards, and that answers may lie in those places, too. In the voice Kingsolver's readers have come to rely on—sometimes grave, occasionally hilarious, and ultimately persuasive—Small Wonder is a hopeful examination of the people we seem to be, and what we might yet make of ourselves.

Review:

"Kingsolver seamlessly combines the personal and the political." Library Journal

Review:

"[P]enetrating....Food, motherhood, gardening, literature, television, homelessness, globalization, scientific illiteracy, selfishness, and forgiveness all come under sharp and revelatory scrutiny." Donna Seaman, Booklist

Review:

"All of Kingsolver's issues are worthy, certainly, but the work is made less palatable by what seems to be a naivete....Her best pieces — a discussion of adolescence addressed to her daughter; an essay on the difficulties of writing about sex — have a narrow focus. Good intentions and craft marred by sanctimony." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of seven works of fiction, including the novels The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction such as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. In 2000, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Table of Contents

Illustrated Catalog of Wonders
Foreword
Small Wonder 1
Saying Grace 22
Knowing Our Place 31
The Patience of a Saint 41
Seeing Scarlet 50
Setting Free the Crabs 60
A Forest's Last Stand 75
Called Out 88
A Fist in the Eye of God 93
Lily's Chickens 109
The One-Eyed Monster, and Why I Don't Let Him In 131
Letter to a Daughter at Thirteen 144
Letter to My Mother 160
Going to Japan 176
Life Is Precious, or It's Not 180
Flying 184
Household Words 195
What Good Is a Story? 206
Marking a Passage 215
Taming the Beast with Two Backs 222
Stealing Apples 228
And Our Flag Was Still There 235
God's Wife's Measuring Spoons 246
Acknowledgments 265

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060504076
Subtitle:
Essays
Author:
Kingsolver, Barbara
Author:
by Barbara Kingsolver
Author:
Barbara
Author:
Kingsolver,
Publisher:
Harper
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
no. 1704 S
Publication Date:
May 2002
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.58x5.74x.97 in. 1.00 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Small Wonder: Essays Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780060504076 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Kingsolver seamlessly combines the personal and the political."
"Review" by , "[P]enetrating....Food, motherhood, gardening, literature, television, homelessness, globalization, scientific illiteracy, selfishness, and forgiveness all come under sharp and revelatory scrutiny."
"Review" by , "All of Kingsolver's issues are worthy, certainly, but the work is made less palatable by what seems to be a naivete....Her best pieces — a discussion of adolescence addressed to her daughter; an essay on the difficulties of writing about sex — have a narrow focus. Good intentions and craft marred by sanctimony."
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