The Lacuna.



































Barbara KingsolverPhoto: Graham Jepson

Saving fossil fuel and savoring connections on the virtual tour for How To Fly

Barbara’s first virtual book tour has her thinking about the benefits of this new way of meeting readers, with a lighter carbon footprint that’s consistent with her beliefs. Flying through virtual space has allowed her to reach audiences all over the world, in the comfort of their homes. She’s been delighted by your attendance at these events, your great questions, and your support of independent bookstores. 

A few more events are still to come. Check out the next two!

Oct. 16, 2020
University of California Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures

Oct. 20, 2020
Tampa Bay Festival of Reading

Barbara flies the virtual skies to launch How To Fly (In 10,000 Easy Lessons)

With travel and large gatherings out of the question for now, Barbara Kingsolver is excited to connect with readers in a whole new kind of book tour. She’ll be reading and discussing her new poetry book in online events hosted by bookstores throughout the country, as well as interviews and podcasts. You can follow her on Facebook (kingsolverbooks) and Instagram (barbara.kingsolver) for more updates. 

The following schedule has links to each host’s web page for advance tickets and reservations. (Please note that all times below are local.)

Sept. 22, 2020
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 7:00 p.m.
Lexington, KY

Sept. 23, 2020
Dallas Museum of Art, 7:00 p.m.
Dallas, TX

Sept. 24, 2020
The Cabin, 8:00 to 9:30 p.m.
Boise, ID

Sept. 30, 2020
Elliot Bay Book Company, 6:00 p.m.
Seattle, WA

Oct. 2, 2020
Politics and Prose, 8:00 p.m.
Washington, DC

Oct. 4, 2020
Powell’s Books, 1:00 p.m. 
Portland, OR

Oct. 5, 2020
Book Passage, TBA
San Francisco, CA

Oct. 16, 2020:
University of California Santa Barbara, 5:00 p.m.  
Santa Barbara, CA

Oct. 20, 2020:
Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading, 7:00 p.m.
Tampa Bay, FL

New poetry book: Coming in September!

"Refreshing in their direct address ... and succinct language,” says the New York Times, poems in Barbara Kingsolver’s forthcoming book “place momentary dramas into context and provide a wider window in." How To Fly (In 10,000 Easy Lessons) will be released by HarperCollins in September.

The poetry offers emotionally rich reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. The book’s interwoven sections form a carefully patterned whole, from its ‘How to’ poems balancing wry pragmatism with illuminating wisdom, to its quiet, clear-eyed elegies examining death as a vivid slice of life. From start to finish, the poignant meditations in this generous collection trace the complex ties that bind us to one another, and to an untamed world beyond ourselves. In more intimate terms than ever before, Kingsolver dares the reader into a deeper embrace of all that lies between birth and death. “Begin with a quailing heart,” she writes, “for here you stand on the fault line.”

How to Fly will delight Kingsolver’s devotees and welcome new readers to her startling verse.

‘Kingsolver’s power lies in her ability to expound big ideas without losing sight of life’s pulsing minutiae.’ Sunday Times

‘What a master of style and form she is.’ New Statesman

Recommendations begin to pile up for UNSHELTERED

As its release date of Oct. 16 approaches, Barbara Kingsolver's next novel has made numerous “Best Books of Fall” lists:

  • Associated Press’s Fall 2018 Books Preview.
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “9 Southern books we recommend this fall” list.
  • Book Riot’s “Spectacular Books You Need to Read This Fall” list.
  • BookBub’s “The Most Anticipated Fiction Books of Fall 2018” list & “Best Historical Fall Fiction” list.
  • Buzzfeed’s “Best Books of Fall 2018” list.
  • ELLE Magazine’s “Best Books to Read in Fall 2018” list.
  • Entertainment Weekly’s “Books You Need to Read This Season” list.
  • Lit Hub’s “Ultimate Fall Books” list.
  • Philadelphia Inquirer’s Fall 2018 Books Preview.
  • PopSugar’s “Best New Books to Curl Up With This Fall” list.
  • Publishers Weekly’s “Most Anticipated Books of Fall” list.
  • The Millions’s “Most Anticipated Books of the Second Half of 2018” list.
  • Vulture’s “New Books to Read This Fall” list.


By Barbara Kingsolver

Monday, October 15, BROOKLYN, NY
7:30 PM, St. Joseph's College, 245 Clinton Avenue
Co-sponsored by Greenlight Books

Tuesday, October 16, NEW YORK, NY
2537 Broadway at 95th Street

Wednesday, October 17, WASHINGTON, DC
Sidwell Friends Meetinghouse 3825 Wisconsin Ave NW

Thursday, October 18, BOSTON, MA
6:00 PM, Kehillath Israel
Co-sponsored by Brookline Booksmith
384 Harvard Street

Friday, October 19, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Montgomery Auditorium, 1901 Vine Steet

Monday, October 22, HOUSTON, TX
Cullen Performance Hall 4800 University Drive

Tuesday, October 23, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA

Wednesday, October 24, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
1 Ferry Building Ste 42

Wednesday, October 24, Sebastopol, CA
Analy High School
6950 Analy Ave, Sebastopol CA 95472

Thursday, October 25, 2018
Benaroya Hall, 200 University St

Saturday, October 27, TUCSON, AZ
Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W Speedway Blvd

Thursday, November 01, SKOKIE, IL
55 Old Orchard Center

Friday, November 02, NASHVILLE, TN

Montgomery Bell Academy
40001 Harding Road

Thursday, November 29, ASHEVILLE, NC
55 Haywood St.


Kingsolver to join Emmy-nominated musician John McCutcheon in support of congressional candidate

Internationally acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver and seven-time Grammy-nominated musician John McCutcheon are combining for a fundraising evening in support of the Flaccavento for Congress campaign. The event takes place on Saturday, August 18 at The Wytheville Meeting Center on the Wytheville Community College campus in Wytheville, Virginia. 

Kingsolver, a resident of Washington County, Virginia, will read from her upcoming novel Unsheltered, and attendees will have a chance to bid on two advance copies of the book.  McCutcheon will perform with some of his seven instruments of mastery:  the hammer dulcimer,  guitarbanjoautoharpmountain dulcimerfiddle, and jawharp.

McCutcheon is a folk musician and producer with a demonstrated commitment to grassroots organizations and local issues.  Pete Seeger called him “one of the best musicians in the USA.”  Johnny Cash called him “The most impressive instrumentalist I have ever heard.”  McCutcheon has produced 34 albums, and one of his most successful songs is Christmas in the Trenches about a spontaneous war-time holiday truce in 1914.

According to Anthony Flaccavento, whose congressional campaign will receive the proceeds of this event, "I am humbled to have Barbara Kingsolver and John McCutcheon sharing their talents on my behalf. Both have deep ties to Virginia's 9th Congressional district.  They know the people and the culture of this area, and they know that the region deserves better opportunities for its citizens.  This evening with the two of them will be spectacular, and the funds they raise will help elect a Representative who will look after the interests of everyday people.”

The event takes place from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  Price of admission is $50 for adults and $25 for students, and proceeds go to the Flaccavento campaign. Tickets may be purchased through the campaign website,  More information about purchasing tickets by phone is available through email at or by phone at 423-444-2635.


It's almost here!
Kingsolver's next novel to be released in October

HarperCollins has sent the Advanced Readers Copy of Barbara Kingsolver's next novel to reviewers in advance of its October release. Here's a sneak peak into what the novel, titled Unsheltered, is about:

How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, a woman asks, and end up destitute? Willa Knox and her husband

followed all the rules as responsible parents and professionals, and have nothing to show for it but debts and an inherited brick house that is falling apart. The magazine where Willa worked has folded; the college where her husband had tenure has closed. Their dubious shelter is also the only option for a disabled father-in-law and an exasperating, free-spirited daughter. When the family’s one success story, an Ivy-educated son, is uprooted by tragedy he seems likely to join them, with dark complications of his own.

In another time, a troubled husband and public servant asks, How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it? A science teacher with a passion for honest investigation, Thatcher Greenwood finds himself under siege: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting work just published by Charles Darwin. His young bride and social-climbing mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his worries that their elegant house is unsound. In a village ostensibly founded as a benevolent Utopia, Thatcher wants only to honor his duties, but his friendships with a woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor threaten to draw him into a vendetta with the town’s powerful men.

Unsheltered is the compulsively readable story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it. With history as their tantalizing canvas, these characters paint a startlingly relevant portrait of life in precarious times when the foundations of the past have failed to prepare us for the future.


10th anniversary edition of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle released, with new writing

Barbara Kingsolver and her family have contributed an extended epilogue to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life on the occasion of its 10th Anniversary. (Here.) The co-authors updating their 2007 critically acclaimed book now include Barbara's and Steven's daughter Lily, prominently featured in the original but too young then "to sign a book contract."

New chapters take stock of the last decade and how their decision to align their lives with the local food chain has continued to shape their destinies.


Kingsolver joins Bellwether winner Lisa Ko in New York for National Book Awards celebration

Barbara Kingsolver joined PEN/Bellwether author Lisa Ko at the 2017 National Book Awards ceremony Nov. 15, alongside members of Ko's publishing team from Algonquin Books. Ko's powerful debut The Leavers had followed a 2016 PEN/Bellwether win with a spot on this year's NBA Shortlist for Fiction. The PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction is awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.

From left to right in the photo above are: Algonquin Associate Publisher Craig Popelars, Algonquin Executive Editor Kathy Pories, PEN/Bellwether founder Barbara Kingsolver, and Algonquin Publisher Elisabeth Scharlatt.

Kingsolver congratulates "her one and only" -- the Frances Goldin Literary Agency -- on 40th Anniversary

Barbara Kingsolver sends her very best wishes to The Frances Goldin Literary Agency on the occasion of the organization's 40th Anniversary.

The agency has been celebrating on its Facebook page by posting episodes from its illustrious history of books and authors. To mark Kingsolver's long partnership with FGLA, the agency reached back to HOLDING THE LINE: Women In the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983 (Cornell/ILR Press, 1989). This was her first book, but the second to be published. "Working as a science writer in Tucson," Kingsolver's colleagues wrote, "she began covering the momentous Phelps Dodge copper mine strike as a freelancer on the weekends. Without meaning to, she began thinking of her newspaper dispatches as the beginning of a book, 'never mind that I had no idea how to go about writing a book, no publishing contacts, nor an iota of confidence that I could carry out such a grand project.'”

That is, until she wrote a query letter to Frances Goldin, who responded “your book proposal is the kind of work which particularly interests me.” Thus began Frances and Barbara’s enthusiastic partnership, which has lasted more than thirty years.

"This is not going to end well:"
Kingsolver talks climate change on CBC's The Current

Barbara Kingsolver was interviewed recently for the CBC's The Current, warning that "because climate change is really, really terrible, let's face it -- this is not going to end well."

The author and host Anna Maria Tremonti discussed the difficulties of admitting to such a dire prognosis, and how fiction and literature can play a role in helping us consider the world in a new way. "It's just the nature of people to want to hear stories," Kingsolver said.

Listen to the full, 24-minute conversation here.

Bellwether winner Lisa Ko's The Leavers moves on to finalist of National Book Award

Lisa Ko’s powerful debut has earned a well-deserved spot on the National Book Award's Shortlist for Fiction. The Leavers is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver, for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid examination of borders and belonging. It’s a moving story of how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past.

“I’m thrilled to see Lisa’s spectacular novel getting noticed, being widely read, and reaching the honors table as it so deserves to do,” Kingsolver said. “The first time I saw this novel in manuscript, I knew this was exactly the kind of story we want to bring to publication with The Bellwether Prize. Lisa Ko is the kind of author whose career we’re thrilled to launch. She and the eight previous Bellwether winners have all put further work into the world that demonstrates the power of art in a time when we desperately need it. Their work gives me hope. I’m honored to call these writers my colleagues.”

Kingsolver among essayists featured in anthology titled Letters to a Young Farmer

Barbara Kingsolver has contributed the lead essay for Letters to a Young Farmer, an anthology that compiles insight from some of the most influential farmers, writers, and leaders in the local food movement.

According to The Stones Barn Center, which edited and released the book, the United States is on the cusp of the largest retirement of farmers in U.S. history, with more farmers over the age of 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44. Letters to a Young Farmer aims to help beginning farmers succeed through advice and encouragement while inspiring all who work in or care about the food system. Others among the 36 contributers to the book are Bill McKibben, Michael Pollan, Dan Barber, Temple Grandin, Wendell Berry, Rick Bayless, and Marion Nestle.

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is a nonprofit sustainable agriculture organization with a mission to create a healthy and sustainable food system that benefits all. The organization trains farmers, educates food citizens, develops agroecological farming practices, and convenes changemakers through programs such as a Summer Institute for High School Students and a two-day Poultry School conference.

2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize winner announced

Lisa Ko of Brooklyn has claimed the 2016 PEN / Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for her novel The Leavers, which will be published by Algonquin Books in 2017.

The novel follows a 10-year-old boy after his Chinese-American immigrant mother leaves for work one morning and doesn’t come back. Soon, her son Deming finds himself adopted by a Caucasion family and renamed Daniel Wilkonson, incorporated into a culture nothing like the one he’s known and loved, while puzzling over why his mother might have left him. Following these narrative threads, The Leavers asks whether a child is better served being raised by adoptive parents with their English fluency and economic privilege, or with his family and culture of origin, despite having few educational and financial resources. A novel that draws links between economic migration and the adoption industry, The Leavers is, as Laila Lalami says, “A rich and sensitive portrait of lives lived across borders, cultures and languages … one of the most engaging, deeply probing, and beautiful books I have read this year.”

Ko's fiction has appeared in Apogee Journal, Narrative, Copper Nickel, Storychord, One Teen Story, Brooklyn Review, and elsewhere, and is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2016. A founding co-editor of Hyphen and a fiction editor at Drunken Boat, Lisa has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the MacDowell Colony, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Writers OMI at Ledig House, the Jerome Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, the Van Lier Foundation, Hawthornden Castle, the I-Park Foundation, the Anderson Center, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center.


Award-winning director 'surprise' guest at Kingsolver Earth Day event

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Barbara Kingsolver, speaking at the Paramount Theater April 22, called special guest Nicole Kassell to the stage during the program, to discuss their collaboration in bringing one of Kingsolver’s novels to film.

Kassell is an award-winning television and film director whose stunning first feature film “The Woodsman” premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and received numerous accolades. She was named by Variety as one of ten “directors to watch.” She also directs episodic television, including “The Killing,” “The Americans,” “The Following” and “Rectify. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Long-time friends, Kingsolver and Kassell discussed their work together on the adaptation of Prodigal Summer, which was selected for the 2013 Sundance Writers and Producers Lab. The movie is currently in development with producer Big Beach Films.

All proceeds from the evening benefited the nonprofit Virginia Organizing, one of Kingsolver's favorite grassroots efforts in the state where she lives.


Vigil for Ilham Tohti follows presentation of Bellwether award

Barbara Kingsolver joined hundreds who gathered in support of Ilham Tohti, the Uyghur writer and scholar recently sentenced to life in prison in China on unfounded charges of separatism. The candlelight vigil in New York City Sept. 29 followed the 2014 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony, where Kingsolver had presented this year's Bellwether Prize to Ron Childress.

Kingsolver read a haunting statement from Tohti at the vigil, which took place just outside The New School Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street. The statement, written in 2013 to be published in the event of his arrest, foreshadows Tohti's later imprisonment and persecution, and avows Tohti's commitment to defend and uphold human rights even as the Chinese government closed in.

The following are excerpts from Tohti's statement that she read:

"There is a lot of tension around here. In the past few days, I have been under constant surveillance by police vehicles and national security police officers... I have realized that I don’t have too many good days ahead of me and I have a feeling that they [the Chinese government] may not have the best intentions in dealing with my situation. Therefore, I feel that it is necessary for me to leave a few words behind before I no longer have the ability to do so.

"I would like to emphasize that currently, there are no physical marks or bruises on my body. About two months ago, the school performed physical examinations on all the teachers, including myself. The results of my physical examinations have been recorded on their computers and were sent to all major hospitals in Beijing. They should be available in their archives... If I do pass away in the near future, know that it is not because of natural illness and it certainly will not be suicide. I am a Uyghur, a father, and a righteous man. I do not commend suicide and neither does the Uyghur culture. Therefore it is impossible that I will ever commit suicide.

"I will never say anything that is against my morals and principles, nor will I ever say anything that may harm my people [Uyghurs]. If I say anything that deviates from my morals after my arrest, know that those are not my words. Any word that is at conflict with my morals or brings harm to the Uyghur people would most likely have been fabricated by the Chinese government... Regardless of the interrogation strategy or the torture method, regardless of what body parts I am about to lose, know that I will never speak words that will work against the interest of Uyghurs, nor will I ever betray the Uyghurs.

"The path I have pursued all along is an honorable and a peaceful path. I have relied only on pen and paper to diplomatically request the human rights, legal rights, and autonomous regional rights for the Uyghurs... I have relentlessly appealed for equality for Uyghurs in regards to their individuality, religion, and culture. I have persistently demanded justice from the Chinese government. However, I have never pursued a violent route and I have never joined a group that utilized violence.

"Many of my friends have been arrested lately. The number of police officers around me has been gradually increased. They have been watching me even on school campus.

"I have always led by example through advocating for diplomatic and peaceful ways to request justice and equality. I believe that Beijing is the ideal place for education, and I believe that this city is a key to achieving equality and justice.

"Without the understanding and support of all of the 1.3 billion people in China, it would be extremely difficult for us to achieve our human rights goals. One of my foremost objectives so far has been to introduce and explain who we really are to the Han Chinese population, and this is how I have gained so many friends and supporters who are Han Chinese.

"I have never spoken like this before, but I am almost confident that the Chinese government is trying to get rid of me this time."

Climate change topic of Kingsolver testimony for Pennsylvania hearing

Barbara Kingsolver provided testimony to a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on climate change for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Aug. 26, 2014. Her remarks were read by Julie Slavet, executive director of the Tookany / Tacony-Frankford Water Shed.

Kingsolver to receive Library of Virginia lifetime achievement award in Richmond

The Library of Virginia will honor Barbara Kingsolver with the 2014 Literary Lifetime Achievement Award, at the library's Annual Literary Awards Celebration in Richmond Oct. 18. Click here to learn more and see the lists of finalists in other categories.

Berea College convocation will feature Kingsolver's 'Novel Perspective'

Barbara Kingsolver will take a Berea College stage November 6, alongside best-selling author Silas House, who is also the college's National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in Appalachian Studies. The two will be paired for the Berea, Ky., college's convocation, in a presentation titled "Writing and Roots: Barbara Kingsolver's Novel Perspective, a Public Conversation with Silas House."

2014 PEN / Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction winner announced

Ron Childress has been named the winner of the 2014 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for his manuscript And West Is West. Selected by award judges Terry McMillan, Nancy Pearl, and Kathy Pories, Childress will receive $25,000 and a publishing contract with Algonquin Books.

Click here to learn more about the author and his novel, And West is West.

Annotated Poisonwood Bible to be auctioned, benefiting PEN center

A first-edition copy of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, annotated, will be auctioned by Christies New York this fall, to benefit The Pen American Center.

According to the PEN website, "Seventy-five writers and artists have written or drawn directly in a first edition or a significant catalogue of their own work." The "extraordinary collection of rare first editions ... have in most cases been heavily annotated throughout by the author."

" The works are startlingly original, and represent a significant contribution to our cultural heritage."

A video featuring several authors' perspectives of the project can be found here.

Harvard school bestows 2013 Global Environmental Citizen award

Barbara Kingsolver was the recipient of the Harvard School of Public Health "2013 Global Environmental Citizen Award," for "outstanding contributions to furthering knowledge about the global environment and promoting awareness about the urgent need to protect it."

Science in fiction topic of Sweet Briar article

Sweet Briar College Magazine has published an article about Barbara Kingsolver's meticulous use of science in her fiction, following the author's address for the 2013 Julia B. Waxter Environmental Forum at the college in March.

Kingsolver was invited to speak at the forum after her pre-Flight Behavior research led her to Sweet Briar professor of biology Lincoln Brower, known internationally for his research into and expertise on the Monarch butterfly.

To read the article, click here. A sidebar from the same issue featuring Lincoln Brower exclusively can also be found on the website.

Press during European tour for 'Flight Behaviour' offers readers new insights

Barbara Kingsolver has returned from a weeks-long tour in Europe for the paperback release of "Flight Behaviour," published by Faber & Faber in the United Kingdom and Rivages in France.

The English portion of the tour included engagements for the Hay Festival of Literature in Wales; the Charleston Festival in Sussex; the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre; and the Guardian Book Club in London. Additionally, Kingsolver attended The Women's Prize for Fiction events, as one of six short-listed authors. (The prize was formerly known as The Orange Prize.)

Following are links to some of the press coverage during the tour: The Herald Scotland; The Guardian; and the Guardian Book Club -- Barbara's contribution here, and accompanying pieces, here.

In France, interviews were scheduled to meet magazine publishing deadlines, and articles will appear at about the time of Flight Behavior's release there. Readers interested in the French translation of the novel should watch for the press items and the Rivages edition to be available in September.

Kingsolver among Women's Prize short-listed authors for Flight Behavior

Barbara Kingsolver moved from The Women's Prize long list to short list recently, alongside authors Kate Atkinson, A.M. Homes, Hilary Mantel, Maria Semple and Zadie Smith. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in Southbank Centre, London, on June 5.

Launched in 1996, the prize (formerly known as The Orange Prize) is awarded annually and celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. Kingsolver won in 2010 for The Lacuna. An article on this year's literary achievements can be found here.

* * *

Other recent honors for Flight Behavior have included: the Independent Bookseller Award Shortlist; Best Literary Author of 2012 and Best Literary Fiction of 2012 in the first annual BEA Armchair Awards (Book Expo America); a Nautilus gold award in fiction and silver award in ecology / environment writing; The Orion Press annual Book Award Shortlist; and a Library of Virginia Literary Award nomination.

Flight Behavior audiobook wins raves

For her reading of the Flight Behavior audiobook, Barbara Kingsolver has been named one of AudioFile magazine's "Best Voices of the Year 2012."

According to Publisher's Weekly, "Kingsolver proves an excellent reader of her own work, perfectly conveying both Dellarobia’s gossipy, accented smalltown neighbors and the distinctive Jamaican accent of intellectual Ovid, the butterfly scientist." See for the full review.

The full list of AudioFile "Best Voices" award recipients can be found here, beginning on page 27; an interview with Kingsolver and review of the audiobook can be found on page 40. Or, for the interview only, click here.

Kingsolver interviews Al Gore on stage at San Francisco Arts & Lectures

Former Vice President Al Gore discussed his new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change, in a conversation with Barbara Kingsolver at the San Francico Arts & Lectures Herbst Theatre Feb. 12.

Gore now spends the majority of his time as chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis. His other bestselling books are Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth, The Assault on Reason, and Our Choice. He is a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Research leads Kingsolver to a date before an audience in Sweet Briar, Va.

The 2013 Julia B. Waxter Environmental Forum at Sweet Briar College featured a reading and conversation with Barbara Kingsolver March 21 and 22. While doing research for her novel Flight Behavior, Kingsolver interviewed Sweet Briar professor of biology Lincoln Brower extensively. Brower is known internationally for his research into and expertise on the Monarch butterfly. The important encounter led to planning for the March event.

Hindman Settlement School to host Kingsolver during weeklong workshop

Kentucky native Barbara Kingsolver will be the keynote speaker at Hindman Settlement School’s 36th Annual Appalachian Writers’ Workshop (July 28-Aug 2, 2013).

Hindman Settlement School hosts the annual weeklong workshop for writers and those interested in folk arts and culture. This year’s workshop includes sessions on Appalachian literature, nonfiction, poetry, short story, memoir, novel and special sessions on songwriting and writing for film and new media.

Other guest staff who will be leading workshop events are:

Poetry: Tony Crunk | George Ella Lyon
Short Story: Holly Goddard Jones | Alex Taylor
Novel: Mark Powell | Glenn Taylor
Memoir: Karen Salyer McElmurray
Nonfiction: Fenton Johnson
Appalachian Literature: Silas House
Songwriting: Caroline Herring
Film & New Media: Jack Wright
Introductions: Robert Gipe | Marianne Worthington
Senior Writer-In-Residence: Gurney Norman

For more information, click here.

New novel Flight Behavior released in November 2012

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless young mother on the verge of settling for permanent disappointment, having given up other plans when she became pregnant and married in high school. Now twenty-nine, she lives with flattening deprivation and domestic disharmony on a failing sheep farm in eastern Tennessee. Seeking short-term escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man, she hikes up a back road to meet him in the novel's opening scene, and instead encounters something she can't understand: a forested valley filled with silent red fire that strikes her as a miracle. It proves to be something far more complex, sparking diverging explanations from scientists, religious leaders, politicians, and the media. For Dellarobia the event drives irrevocable changes as she is forced to confront and lock horns with her family, her church, her community, her continent, and finally, her world.

Kingsolver’s fourteenth book, Flight Behavior (HarperCollins) deepens her exploration of timely themes: the novel's subject is climate change, along with the media exploitation and political opportunism that lie at the root of what may be our most urgent modern dilemma. In a suspenseful plot that brings together rural farmers and urbane scientists in a bewildering emergency, the novel dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precariously shifting world.

Library Journal review of Flight Behavior

Dellarobia Turnbow is in a perpetual state of fight or flight. Married at 17 to kind, dull Cub, she finds even the satisfaction of motherhood small consolation for the stultifying existence on her in-laws’ struggling Tennessee sheep farm. When a fluke of nature upends the monotony of her life, Dellarobia morphs into the church’s poster child for a miracle, an Internet phenomenon, and a woman on the verge of unexpected opportunity as scientists, reporters, and ecotourists converge on the Turnbow property. Orange Prize winner Kingsolver (The Lacuna) performs literary magic, generously illuminating both sides of the culture wars, from the global-warming debate to public education in America. It’s a joy to watch Dellarobia and her precocious son, Preston, blossom under the tutelage of entomologist Ovid Byron. VERDICT . Highly recommended. —Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Myers, FL

Kingsolver among speakers at Book Expo America kick-off event

New York City, June 5, 2012—Barbara Kingsolver joined Master of Ceremonies Stephen Colbert and authors Junot Diaz and Jo Nesbo on stage at the Book Expo America “Authors Breakfast” June 5, 2012.

To learn more about the event or to read interviews Kingsolver gave while at the BEA, click:

Susan Nussbaum announced winner of 2012 PEN / Bellwether Prize

New York City, June 5, 2012—PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world’s oldest literary and human rights organization, joined Barbara Kingsolver, founder of the Bellwether Prize, and Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing, to announce Susan Nussbaum as the winner of the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Nussbaum received $25,000 and a publishing contract with Algonquin Books for her manuscript Good Kings Bad Kings.

Nussbaum traveled to New York City for the announcement, which was made by Barbara Kingsolver at BookExpo America, in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Kingsolver and Nussbaum were joined by PEN president Peter Godwin, Algonquin Books, and previous Bellwether winners Heidi Durrow (The Girl Who Fell from the Sky) and Hillary Jordan (Mudbound) at the press conference for editors, publishers, agents, press, booksellers, and librarians from around the country. (Click for more information.)

Kingsolver reads from new work at Lexington, Ky., conference

Barbara Kingsolver was the keynote speaker for the Books-in-Progress Conference June 8 and 9, sponsored by The Carnegie Center in Lexington, Ky. She read from new work June 8 at 7 p.m., at the Lexington Convention Center’s Bluegrass Ballroom Atrium. The conference offered writing and publishing workshops, as well as one-on-one meetings between writers and literary agents.

Kingsolver, Mattea take stage together

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.:  Barbara Kingsolver joined Grammy-award winning singer Kathy Mattea for "A View from the Mountaintop," an evening of spoken word and song at the Bijou Theatre on March 11. The two celebrated their shared Appalachian heritage and cast a spotlight on mountaintop removal mining. The controversial practice has destroyed more than 500 mountains across Appalachia and presents a looming threat to Tennessee's mountains on the Cumberland Plateau.

Kathy Mattea, a native of West Virginia, has won two Grammys and has twice been named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association.  Her recordings intertwine Celtic, gospel, and bluegrass influences with the folk and acoustic music that have always served as her artistic anchor. Her most recent CD, the Grammy-nominated, Coal, celebrates the culture of Appalachia.

The evening was sponsored by LEAF (Lindquist Environmental Appalachian Fellowship), a non-profit, non-denominational fellowship of Tennesseans whose faith leads them to take action for Tennessee's environment.  LEAF seeks to protect Tennessee's highest ridgelines by working for the passage of the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act that is currently under consideration by the Tennessee Legislature.  For more information on mountaintop removal and its impact in Tennessee:

Photo by Andy Snow

Kingsolver receives Dayton Literary Peace Prize Nov. 12-13, 2011

Dayton, OH – Author Barbara Kingsolver received the first-ever Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award.

The award, which was formerly known as the Lifetime Achievement Award, was renamed in honor of the late Richard C. Holbrooke, the celebrated U.S. diplomat who played an instrumental role in negotiating the historic 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia. It was presented to Kingsolver by journalist Kati Marton, Holbrooke’s widow, at a gala ceremony in Dayton. Holbrooke had been serving as special advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan under President Obama when he passed away in December 2010.

Kingsolver joined the ranks of past winners of the award, including Studs Terkel (2006), Elie Wiesel (2007), Taylor Branch (2008), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDun (2009), and Geraldine Brooks (2010).

<<Click here to find more information on the Dayton Literary Peace Prize website.>>

Emory & Henry College features Kingsolver for 2011 Literary Festival

Barbara Kingsolver was the featured author for this year’s Emory & Henry College Literary Festival Sept. 29-30. She gave a reading and public interview for the festival, while three noted scholars presented papers and reviews of her work.

Linda Wagner-Martin, professor of English at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, presented a paper entitled “Keeping an Eye on Paradise:’ The Exuberance of Prodigal Summer.” Meredith Sue Willis, adjunct assistant professor of Creative Writing, New York University, presented a paper entitled “Not Missing from The Lacuna: A Private Life in a Political World,” while Sandra Ballard, professor of English at Appalachian State University and editor of The Appalachian Journal, presented a paper entitled “‘Disclosing the Heart of the Form’: An Appreciation of Barbara Kingsolver’s Nonfiction.”

Steve Fisher, professor emeritus at Emory & Henry and a well-known scholar of Appalachian studies, conducted the interview with the author, which, along with all the proceedings of the festival, will be published in an upcoming issue of The Iron Mountain Review.

Compassion in difficult times focus of 2011 commencement address

Barbara Kingsolver presented the 2011 Commencement Address for Emory & Henry College May 7. The college is located in Emory, Va., very near where a deadly tornado struck in Glade Spring, Va., on April 28, and near where Kingsolver lives. She said to the new graduates, who had responded to the tragedy in large numbers the night of the tornado: “Now you have seen what a world of agitated molecules can do and how a community of compassionate individuals can respond.”

<<Click here for the Emory & Henry College web page about its 2011 commencement.>>

Kingsolver receives Duke Leaf Award

Barbara Kingsolver was the recipient of the 2011 Duke LEAF Award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts, presented by the Nicholas School of the Environment on April 9.

<<Click here for the Duke press release.>>
<<Click here for a video of the ceremony.>>

The Lacuna published to rave reviews in France

The Lacuna has been published in France under the title “Un Autre Monde.” Beautifully translated by Martine Aubert, the novel was described in the premiere French literary review journal as “vertiginous.” Below is an extract of the review by Nils C. Ahl in Le Monde des Livres, followed by a link to the full text.

Une fable américaine

En restituant la part mystérieuse d'une vie, Barbara Kingsolver concilie avec brio intentions politiques et littéraires. A laisser courir les sept cents pages serrées de ce roman sous la pulpe de son doigt, on est pris de vertige. Au chapitre des mises en garde, certes, l'endurance est de mise. Ou un jour de congé. Car sa poétique est si dense qu'elle souffre quand on l'interrompt : un défaut, peut-être, mais en forme de qualité. Et la plupart des lecteurs ne s'étonneront pas d'en venir à bout : le voyage est d'un rare confort, et la langue plastique et poétique de Barbara Kingsolver rend l'ensemble d'une saisissante fluidité. A la réflexion, le vertige vient d'ailleurs.

<<Click here for original article.>>

The Lacuna also has been published in the United Kingdom, and is being translated in Croatia, Russia, Romania, Norway, Italy, Brazil, Isreal, Taiwan, China, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Denmark, Poland, Serbia, Greece, S. Korea, and Turkey.

In summer 2010 the author worked closely with Mexican translator Elisa Ramirez Castañeda on the Spanish translation of The Lacuna. In a Spanish-language publishing industry powerfully dominated by Spain, Kingsolver is pleased to have secured a New World translator for this Mexico-inspired novel.

Kingsolver receives Library of Virginia fiction award

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver was the winner of the fiction prize at the 13th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards October 16, hosted by award-winning Virginia author Adriana Trigiani. The evening celebrated a remarkable list of authors, including Lee Smith, David Baldacci and Jeanette Walls.

The awards are presented each year for the best books by a Virginia author in the fields of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. A special award is also given each year for lifetime achievement in any literary field.

According to a Library of Virginia press release, judges felt Kingsolver’s novel “was the achievement of a literary artist at the peak of her skills.”

Kingsolver wins Orange Prize for Fiction

Barbara Kingsolver has won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction for The Lacuna.

Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, presented the author with the Prize at an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in central London June 9, hosted by Orange Prize for Fiction Co-Founder and Honorary Director Kate Mosse.

Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.   The winner receives a check for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze known as a "Bessie," created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.

Daisy Goodwin, Chair of Judges, who announced the winning author at the ceremony, said: “We had very different tastes on the panel, but in the end we went for passion not compromise.  We chose The Lacuna because it is a book of breathtaking scale and shattering moments of poignancy.”

<<Click here to go to the official Orange Prize website.>>

<<Click here for an interview that appeared in the June 10, 2010 issue of the United Kingdom’s The Guardian.>>

<<Click here for an interview that appeared in the June 12, 2010 issue of the United Kingdom’s The Guardian.>>

Bellwether Prize winner announced

The 2010 winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, the largest monetary prize for unpublished fiction in North America, has been announced: Naomi Benaron of Tucson has won the $25,000 award and publication with the Bellwether’s partner publisher, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, N.C. The announcement marked the award’s 10th anniversary.

Established by Barbara Kingsolver, the Bellwether Prize is awarded biennially to an unpublished novel manuscript by a writer who has previously published articles or short stories but not a major novel. The prize is designed to be a career-founding event for writers with outstanding literary skills, moral passion, and the courage to combine these strengths in unusually powerful fiction.

<<Click here for the entire press release.>>

To learn more, see


The Latest Word

New York Times Magazine publishes "How To Survive This" from forthcoming book
March 26, 2020

By Barbara Kingsolver

O misery. Imperfect
universe of days stretched out
ahead, the string of pearls
and drops of venom on the web,
losses of heart, of life
and limb, news of the worst:

Remind me again
the day will come
when I look back amazed
at the waste of sorry salt
when I had no more than this
to cry about.

Now I lay me down.
I’m not there yet.