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Small Wonder: Essaysby Barbara Kingsolver
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Whether she is contemplating the Grand Canyon, her vegetable garden, motherhood, genetic engineering, 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 both those places.
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.
"Soulful and soul-searching....A passionate invitation to readers to be a part of the crowd that cares about the environment, peace, and family." San Francisco Chronicle
"Altogether marvelous....Observant, imaginative, and both lucid and impassioned." Book Magazine
"It is fascinating that in her essay on what makes a story valuable, Kingsolver never mentions the companionship of a narrative voice...when such a voice is her greatest strength." Penelope Mesic, Book Magazine
"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...have a narrow focus. Good intentions and craft marred by sanctimony." Kirkus Reviews
"Kingsolver possesses a rare depth of understanding of nature's complex mechanisms." San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"Essays ... [of] great skill and wisdom." Booklist
A travelogue of the world's oceans as a continuous system, from the Burroughs Award-winning author of The Fragile Edge, that combines science, characters, wonders, and history.
At the center of Deep Blue Home—a penetrating exploration of the ocean as single vast current and of the creatures dependent on it—is Whittys description of the three-dimensional ocean river, far more powerful than the Nile or the Amazon, encircling the globe. Its a watery force connected to the earths climate control and so to the eventual fate of the human race.
Whittys thirty-year career as a documentary filmmaker and diver has given her sustained access to the scientists dedicated to the study of an astonishing range of ocean life, from the physiology of “extremophile” life forms to the strategies of nesting seabirds to the ecology of “whale falls” (what happens upon the death of a behemoth).
No stranger to extreme adventure, Whitty travels the oceanside and underwater world from the Sea of Cortez to Newfoundland to Antarctica. In the Galapagos, in one of the books most haunting encounters, she realizes: “I am about to learn the answer to my long-standing question about what would happen to a person in the water if a whale sounded directly alongside—would she, like a person afloat beside a sinking ship, be dragged under too?”
This book provides extraordinary armchair entree to gripping adventure, cutting-edge science, and an intimate understanding of our deep blue home.
About the Author
Barbara Kingsolver's twelve books of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction include the novels The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible. Translated into nineteen languages, her work has won a devoted worldwide readership and many awards, including the National Humanities Medal. Her most recent book is the highly praised, New York Times bestselling Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, published in May 2007. She lives with her family on a farm in southwestern Virginia.
Table of Contents
Part One: Isla Rasa
1. The Very Air Miraculous 3
2. The River That Was Nowhere and Everywhere 14
3. Another Heaven 20
4. Hunger Island 26
5. The Ornament of the Body 31
6. One Hundred Days of Solitude 36
7. Whorls 43
8. The Unreefed World 51
9. The Epitome of Unrestrained Freedom 58
10. Mirage 64
11. Emotional Ecology 69
12. The Anti-Bodies of Quiet 73
13. Everything Is Already Brilliant 78
Part Two: The Underwater Rivers of the World
14. The Distant Geography of Water 87
15. The Ecumenical Sea 96
16. Deepwater Formation 103
17. The Tempest from the Eagle’s Wings 107
18. One Meritorious Act 114
19. Jump Cut 121
20. Lament for the Thirty Million 131
21. All Time Is Now 138
22. Trophic Cascade 146
23. Bone Rafters 151
24. Soundsabers 159
25. Salting Down the Lean Missionary 167
26. The Existence of a World Previous to Ours 176
27. Reading God 184
28. Nemesis 195
29. The Inexplicable Waves 205
30. At the End of Hunger 209
Part Three: The Airborne Ocean
31. Serpent Cave 221
32. Black Mirror 227
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