This is the official website of

Barbara Kingsolver

Contemporary U.S. author of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, critical commentary and journalism.

Readers can find answers here about Barbara’s published books, as well as biographical information and frequently-asked questions.

This is the official website of

Barbara Kingsolver

Contemporary U.S. author of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, critical commentary and journalism.

Readers can find answers here about Barbara’s published books, as well as biographical information and frequently-asked questions.

“What keeps me awake at the wheel is the thrill of trying something completely new with each book. I’m not a risk-taker in life, generally speaking, but as a writer I definitely choose the fast car, the impossible rock face, the free fall.”

— Barbara Kingsolver

“The trees exhaled in communion, rode their new continents, survived the end of the world.”

— “Forests of Antartica”
How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

“Remember to leave a window open,
oven door closed, stones on the ground
not in your pockets. Maybe just one
precious in a fist, or against a hot cheek.”

— “Dancing with the Devil: Advice for the Female Poet”
How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

“An even dozen, as it happens,
changeable as the lunar egg
and milky like that, breasts
that have waxed and waned
answering the tides and tugs that
rule the world: men and children.”

— “Six Women Swimming Naked in the Ocean”
How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

“As people do, we’ve come looking for proof that the dead of the past were just like us. And grow quiet, having found it.”

— “Pompeii”
How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

“Announce your rebel kindness in letters painted
much too large on the back of your jacket. Children
will stare, dogs bark. Doors bolt. Anyway, walk.”

— “How to Love Your Neighbor”
How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

“When someone mattered like that, you didn’t lose her at death. You lost her as you kept living.”

― Unsheltered

“When men fear the loss of what they know, they will follow any tyrant who promises to restore the old order.”

 Unsheltered

“I never learn anything from listening to myself.”

― Flight Behavior

“There are always more questions. Science as a process is never complete. It is not a foot race, with a finish line…. People will always be waiting at a particular finish line: journalists with their cameras, impatient crowds eager to call the race, astounded to see the scientists approach, pass the mark, and keep running.”

Flight Behavior

“Science doesn’t tell us what we should do. It only tells us what is.”

Flight Behavior

“I should like to write my books only for the dear person who lies awake reading in bed until page last, then lets the open book fall gently on her face, to touch her smile or drink her tears.”

The Lacuna

“ ‘Mr. Shepherd, ye cannot stop a bad thought from coming into your head. But ye need not pull up a chair and bide it sit down.’ ”

The Lacuna

“Where my kids are concerned I find myself hoping for the simplest things: that if someday they crave orchards where their kids can climb into the branches and steal apples, the world will have trees enough with arms to receive them.”

― Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

“Even now, in every season, there comes a certain day with a scent on its air or a birdsong needled through it like a silver promise, some germ of evidence for a life beyond my own that calls me out the door.”

— Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands

“For every second of humanity’s raucous history, every breath any of us has ever taken was absorbed and answered silently by leaves.”

— Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands

“By the rule of biological law, the living world possesses us, not the other way around.”

— Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands

“Our task is to convince ourselves that wildness deserves to persist, not because of what it can give us but simply because of what it is. Because it was here first. Because life, by definition, is its own reason for being, and the only justification it needs. Because we ourselves arose ultimately from the rich mud-scented cells of the fecund earth and now must fight our adolescent urge to destroy the evidence.”

— Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands

“The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.”

— Small Wonder

“Solitude is a human presumption. Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot, a tug of impalpable thread on the web pulling mate to mate and predator to prey, a beginning or an end. Every choice is a world made new for the chosen.”

Prodigal Summer

“Art is the antidote that can call us back from the edge of numbness, restoring the ability to feel for another.”

— High Tide In Tucson

“Everything you’re sure is right can be wrong in another place.”

— The Poisonwood Bible

“I’ve seen how you can’t learn anything when you’re trying to look like the smartest person in the room.”

— The Poisonwood Bible

“Many people rely hard on five games that showcase upper-body strength (football, baseball, basketball, boxing, and hockey) as reassurance of a certain order, gender-wise, in the universe. Me, I bear in mind that women live seven years longer than men, on average, and figure that’s the sport I’ll sign up for.”

— High Tide in Tucson

“The way of a parent’s love is a fool’s progress, for sure. We lean and we lean on the cherished occupation of making ourselves obsolete.”

High Tide in Tucson

“I’m always looking at the dialectic between the truth we believe exists outside ourselves and the truth we invent for ourselves.”

Pigs In Heaven

“No matter what kind of night you’re having, morning always wins.”

Pigs In Heaven

“But kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.”

Pigs In Heaven

“Remember the moon survives,
draws herself out crescent-thin,
a curved woman. Untouchable,
she bends around the shadow
that pushes himself against her,
and she waits.”

— “Remember the Moon Survives”
Another America

“But the heart is a chamber that fills again
at the sight of red mud villages,
women pounding tortillas.
The blood returns. The soldiers are deserting.
Their study of war was a plowshare of schemes and glass
and home is the unyielding animal soil.
The only fight is here.”

— “The Blood Returns”
Another America

How To Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons) 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...

Unsheltered

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...

Flight Behavior: A Novel

Barbara Kingsolver returns to native ground in her fourteenth book, Flight Behavior. The novel is a heady exploration of climate change, along with media exploitation and political opportunism that lie at the root of what may be our most urgent modern dilemma. Set in Appalachia, a region to which Kingsolver has returned often in both her acclaimed fiction and nonfiction, its suspenseful narrative traces the unforeseen impact of global concerns on the ordinary citizens of a rural community. As environmental, economic, and political issues converge, the residents of Feathertown, Tennessee, are forced to come to terms with their changing place in...

New Zealand Minister for Climate Change hosts Kingsolver on podcast “What Comes After What Comes Next”

Barbara was delighted to speak with James Shaw, who is not only Minister for Climate Change in New Zealand, but Green Party co-leader and a member of parliament since 2014.

Barbara in conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson

The Earth Day 2021 event with Kingsolver’s fellow environmental novelist and activist was part of the Pasadena Literary Alliance’s “Open Book on Location” series. The talk ranged across literature and cli-fi, the role of art in changing the world, and why we have hope for the future.