Kingsolver spent 1963 in the Congo as a child; her physician father was committed to helping people without access to medical care. She sets her novel against the dramatic backdrop of tremendous political unrest as the Belgium Congo struggled for independence. A missionary takes his family from the American South to the Congo in 1959: they are ill prepared for the culture or geography of Africa. The story is told through the viewpoints of the four daughters and mother, but at its heart it examines the hubris of a man bent on converting an unwilling indigenous people to his hardline beliefs. The family arrives in Africa with a set of preconceived notions about the people and country that are soon challenged by reality. Kingsolver captures the voice of these women as their lives change and their consciousness expands. It is a funny, wise, sad, wonderful story.— Deon Stonehouse
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.
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.