Synopses & Reviews
In this intimate collection, the beloved author of The Poisonwood Bible and more than a dozen other New York Times bestsellers, winner or finalist for the Pulitzer and countless other prizes, now trains her eye on the everyday and the metaphysical in poems that are smartly crafted, emotionally rich, and luminous.
In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. She begins with "how to" poems addressing everyday matters such as being hopeful, married, divorced; shearing a sheep; praying to unreliable gods; doing nothing at all; and of course, flying. Next come rafts of poems about making peace (or not) with the complicated bonds of friendship and family, and making peace (or not) with death, in the many ways it finds us. Some poems reflect on the redemptive powers of art and poetry itself; others consider where everything begins.
Closing the book are poems that celebrate natural wonders — birdsong and ghost-flowers, ruthless ants, clever shellfish, coral reefs, deadly deserts, and thousand-year-old beech trees — all speaking to the daring project of belonging to an untamed world beyond ourselves.
Altogether, these are poems about transcendence: finding breath and lightness in life and the everyday acts of living. It's all terribly easy and, as the title suggests, not entirely possible. Or at least, it is never quite finished.
"'Telling a moment' is Kingsolver's apt description of what poetry does, and it's what she does, stunningly....How to Fly is language and observation at their most succulent,
moments seized at their peak of ripeness." Jonathan Miles, Garden and Gun
"Ranging from the title's
numerous lessons to a reading list for insomniacs, the poems in this
genial new volume...exude a pleasing sense of mystery..." Library Journal
"[C]ontemplative....[A] memorable message of hope and responsibility....distilling a life lesson learned with eyes and heart wide open." Publishers Weekly
“Nuanced and convincing....Engrossing.” Jane Ciabattari, BBC News
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.