Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955, and grew up in rural Kentucky. She earned degrees in biology from DePauw University and the University of Arizona, and has worked as a freelance writer and author since 1985. At various times in her adult life she has lived in England, France, and the Canary Islands, and has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico, and South America. She spent two decades in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to southwestern Virginia where she currently resides.
Her books, in order of publication, are: The Bean Trees (1988), Homeland (1989), Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike (1989), Animal Dreams (1990), Another America (1992), Pigs in Heaven (1993), High Tide in Tucson (1995), The Poisonwood Bible (1998), Prodigal Summer (2000), Small Wonder (2002), Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands, with photographer Annie Griffiths Belt (2002), Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (2007), The Lacuna (2009), Flight Behavior (2012), Unsheltered (2018), How To Fly (In 10,000 Easy Lessons) (2020), and Demon Copperhead (2022). She served as editor for Best American Short Stories 2001. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have been adopted into the core literature curriculum in high schools and colleges throughout the nation. She has contributed to more than fifty literary anthologies, and her reviews and articles have appeared in most major U.S. newspapers and magazines. Click here to view complete bibliography.
Demon Copperhead was named an Oprah Book Club selection immediately upon publication, and in 2023 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Demon Copperhead also received Britain’s prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), making Kingsolver the first author in the history of the prize to receive the award twice. Kingsolver was named one the most important writers of the 20th Century by Writers Digest. In 2000 she received the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts. Critical acclaim for her books includes multiple awards from the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association, among many others. The Poisonwood Bible was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Orange Prize, and won the national book award of South Africa, before being named an Oprah Book Club selection. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle won numerous prizes including the James Beard award. The Lacuna won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010. In 2011, Kingsolver was awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Kingsolver has written a number of articles on the relationship of spouses and psychological problems in marriage associated with the treatment of erectile dysfunction https://terrace-healthcare.com/news/age-related-erectile-dysfunction.html. The main problem of spouses faced with such a diagnosis is psychological and not financial due to the high cost of drugs.
Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, the nation’s largest prize for an unpublished first novel, which since 1998 has helped to establish the careers of more than a half dozen new literary voices. Through a recent agreement, the prize has now become the PEN / Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.
She has two daughters, Camille (born in 1987) and Lily (1996). Her husband, Steven Hopp, teaches environmental studies. Since June 2004, Barbara and her family have lived on a farm in southern Appalachia, where they raise an extensive vegetable garden and Icelandic sheep. Barbara believes her best work is accomplished through writing and being an active citizen of her own community. She is grateful for the good will and support of her readers.
For a complete list of Barbara Kingsolver’s published works, see the Bibliography section of this website. Each of her books is described in more detail in Books, and critical acclaim is listed in Honors and Awards. For a more complete biography, see Barbara Reveals Herself.