Barbara Kingsolver

Born: April 8, 1955

Occupation: Novelist

Quotes of Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver

I had decided early on that if I couldn’t dress elegant, I’d dress memorable.

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Barbara Kingsolver

What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness.

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Barbara Kingsolver

the conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners

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Barbara Kingsolver

Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.

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Barbara Kingsolver

A certain feeling comes from throwing your good life away, and it is one part rapture.

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Barbara Kingsolver

...whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. And peace will be with you.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Will you explain to me why people encourage delusional behaviour in children, and medicate it in adults?

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Barbara Kingsolver

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want...

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Barbara Kingsolver

God is frightful, God is great--you pick. I choose this: God is in the details, the completely unnecessary miracles sometimes tossed up as stars to guide us. They are the promise of good fortune in a cloudless...

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Barbara Kingsolver

You never knew which split second might be the zigzag bolt dividing all that went before from the everything that comes next.

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Barbara Kingsolver

What keeps you going isn't some fine destination but just the road you're on, and the fact that you know how to drive. You keep your eyes open, you see this damned-to-hell world you got born into, and...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Memory runs along deep, fixed channels in the brain, like electricity along its conduits; only a cataclysm can make the electrons rear up in shock and slide over into another channel. The human mind seems...

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Barbara Kingsolver

You can’t replace people you love with other people…But you can trust that you’re not going to run out of people to love.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Our plans are small and somewhat absurd.

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Barbara Kingsolver

If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Nothing to do with nature, unless you count human nature.

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Barbara Kingsolver

My way of finding a place in this world is to write one.

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Barbara Kingsolver

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...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Beginning a novel is always hard. It feels like going nowhere. I always have to write at least 100 pages that go into the trashcan before it finally begins to work. It's discouraging, but necessary to...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Recall that whatever lofty things you might accomplish today, you will do them only because you first ate something that grew out of the dirt.

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Barbara Kingsolver

But we've all ended up giving body and soul to Africa, one way or another. Even Adah, who's becoming an expert in tropical epidemiology and strange new viruses. Each of us got our heart buried in six feet...

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Barbara Kingsolver

When moral superiority combines with billowing ignorance, they fill up a hot-air balloon that's awfully hard not to poke.

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Barbara Kingsolver

she's never forgotten, either, how a mystery caught in the hand could lose its grace

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Barbara Kingsolver

You force people to stop asking questions, and before you know it they have auctioned off the question mark, or sold it for scrap. No boldness. No good ideas for fixing what's broken in the land. Because...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me, or paused at least to strike a glancing blow with his sky-blue mouth as he passed.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It feels strange to me to be living in a box, hiding from the steadying influence of the moon; wearing the hide of a cow, which is supposed to be dyed to match God-knows-what, on my feet; making promises...

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Barbara Kingsolver

What we lose in our great human exodus from the land is a rooted sense, as deep and intangible as religious faith, of why we need to hold on to the wild and beautiful places that once surrounded us.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Maybe he's been in Africa so long he has forgotten that we Christians have our own system of marriage, and it is called Monotony.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence. I can understand a wrathful God who'd just as soon dangle us all from a hook. And I can understand...

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Barbara Kingsolver

For time and eternity there have been fathers like Nathan who simply can see no way to have a daughter but to own her like a plot of land. To work her, plow her under, rain down a dreadful poison upon...

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Barbara Kingsolver

On the day I swore to uphold the Hippocratic oath, the small hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I waited for lightning to strike. Who was I, vowing calmly among all these necktied young men to steal...

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Barbara Kingsolver

A choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. I am the forest's conscience, but remember, the forest eats itself and lives forever.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Feeling that morality has nothing to do with the way you use the resources of the world is an idea that can't persist much longer. If it does, then we won't.

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Barbara Kingsolver

We came from Bethlehem, Georgia bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle.

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Barbara Kingsolver

There is a strange moment in time, after something horrible happens, when you know it's true, but you haven't told anyone yet.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Most of the girls my age, or even younger, have babies. They appear way too young to be married, till you look in their eyes. Then you'll see it. Their eyes look happy and sad at the same time, but unexcited...

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Barbara Kingsolver

But Anatole said suddenly, 'Don't expect God's protection in places beyond God's dominion. It will only make you feel punished. I'm warning you. When things go bad, you will blame yourself.' 'What are...

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Barbara Kingsolver

He had senile dementia and liked to go outside naked, but he could still do two things perfectly: win at checkers and write out prescriptions.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Of the two hundred bones in the human body, more than a quarter are in the foot. It is a more complicated instrument than an automobile transmission, and it is treated with far less consideration.

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Barbara Kingsolver

We aimed for no more than to have dominion over every creature that moved upon the earth. And so it came to pass that we stepped down there on a place we believed unformed, where only darkness moved on...

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Barbara Kingsolver

You see mother, you had no life of your own. They have no idea. One has only a life of one's own.

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Barbara Kingsolver

In Kilanga, people knew nothing of things they might have had - a Frigidaire? a washer-dryer combination? Really, they'd sooner imagine a tree that could pull up its feet and go bake bread. It didn't occur...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Sugar, it's no parade but you'll get down the street one way or another, so you'd just as well throw your shoulders back and pick up the pace.

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Barbara Kingsolver

She is inhumanly alone. And then, all at once, she isn't.

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Barbara Kingsolver

A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. But the last one: the baby...

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Barbara Kingsolver

If you never stepped on anybody's toes, you never been for a walk.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Back then I was still appalled that God would set down his barefoot boy and girl dollies into an Eden where, presumably, He had just turned loose elephantiasis and microes that eat the human cornea. Now...

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Barbara Kingsolver

...prodigal summer, the season of extravagant procreation. It could wear out everything in its path with its passionate excesses, but nothing alive with wings or a heart or a seed curled into itself in...

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Barbara Kingsolver

The moth settled onto the curtain and sat still. It was an astonishing creature, with black and white wings patterned in geometric shapes, scarlet underwings, and a fat white body with black spots running...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Want is a thing that unfurls unbidden like fungus, opening large upon itself, stopless, filling the sky. But needs, from one day to the next, are few enough to fit in a bucket, with room enough left to...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Let me claim that Africa and I kept company for a while and then parted ways as if we were both party to relations with a failed outcome. Or say I was afflicted with Africa like a bout of a rare disease...

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Barbara Kingsolver

That was when we smelled the rain. It was so strong it seemed like more than just a smell. When we stretched out our hands we could practically feel it rising up from the ground. I don’t know how a person...

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Barbara Kingsolver

But children robbed of love will dwell on magic.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning.

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Barbara Kingsolver

You think you're the foreigner here, and I'm the American, and I just look the other way while the President or somebody sends down this and that . . . to torture people with. But nobody asked my permission,...

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Barbara Kingsolver

The gods you do not pay are the ones that can curse you best.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Poor Congo, barefoot bride of men who took her jewels and promised the Kingdom.

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Barbara Kingsolver

(on asparagus) Europeans of the Renaissance swore by it as an aphrodisiac, and the church banned it from nunneries.

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Barbara Kingsolver

When I want to take God at his word exactly, I take a peep out the window at His creation. Because that, darling, He makes fresh for us everyday...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Shoes would interfere with her conversation, for she constantly addresses the ground under her feet. Asking forgiveness. Owning, disowning, recanting, recharting a hateful course of events to make sense...

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Barbara Kingsolver

How is it right to slip free of an old skin and walk away from the scene of the crime? We came, we saw, we took away and we left behind, we must be allowed our anguish and our regrets.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Patriotism threatens free speech with death. It is infuriated by thoughtful hesitation, constructive criticism of our leaders and pleas for peace. It despises people of foreign birth. It has specifically...

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Barbara Kingsolver

I don't know what rituals my kids will carry into adulthood, whether they'll grow up attached to homemade pizza on Friday nights, or the scent of peppers roasting over a fire, or what. I do know that flavors...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Planning complex, beautiful meals and investing one's heart and time in their preparation is the opposite of self-indulgence. Kitchen-based family gatherings are process-oriented, cooperative, and in the...

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Barbara Kingsolver

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for!

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Barbara Kingsolver

...I stir in bed and the memories rise out of me like a buzz of flies from a carcass. I crave to be rid of them...

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Barbara Kingsolver

A flower is a plant's way of making love.

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Barbara Kingsolver

At some point in my life I'd honestly hoped love would rescue me from the cold, drafty castle I lived in. But at another point, much earlier I think, I'd quietly begun to hope for nothing at all in the...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Morality is not a large, constructed *thing* you have or have not, but simply a capacity. Something you carry with you in your brain and in your hands.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I've about decided that's the main thing that separates happy people from the other people: the feeling that you're a practical item, with a use, like a sweater or a socket wrench.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Some of us know how we came by our fortune and some of us don't; but we wear it all the same

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Barbara Kingsolver

Culture is a slingshot moved by the force of its past

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Barbara Kingsolver

Many of us who aren't farmers or gardeners still have some element of farm nostalgia in our family past, real or imagined: a secret longing for some connection to a life where a rooster crows in the yard.

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Barbara Kingsolver

We agreed with him in principal - we were little scientists, born and bred. But children robbed of love will dwell on magic.

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Barbara Kingsolver

That's how it is: some people are content to wait till you ask, while others jump right in with the whole story.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It is harrowing for me to try to teach 20-year-old students, who earnestly want to improve their writing. The best I can think to tell them is: Quit smoking, and observe posted speed limits. This will...

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Barbara Kingsolver

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

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Barbara Kingsolver

A dog can't think that much about what he's doing, he just does what feels right.

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Barbara Kingsolver

In a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is make things as right as we can.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Don't wait for the muse. She has a lousy work ethic. Writers just write.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Why is it that only girls stand on the sides of their feet? As if they're afraid to plant themselves?

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Barbara Kingsolver

The most assiduous task of parenting is to divine the difference between boundaries and bondage.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Quit smoking, and observe posted speed limits. This will improve your odds of getting old enough to be wise.

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Barbara Kingsolver

For if there is any single thing that everyone hopes for most dearly, it must be this: that the youngest outlive the oldest.

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Barbara Kingsolver

He was getting that look he gets, oh boy, like Here comes Moses tromping down off of Mount Syanide with ten fresh ways to wreck your life.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Forgive me, O Heavenly Father, according to the multitude of Thy mercies. I have lusted in my heart to break a man's skull and scatter the stench of his brains across several people's back yards.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Friends, there is nothing like your own family to make you appreciate strangers!

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Barbara Kingsolver

Last time I talked to her she didn't sound like herself. She's depressed. It's awful what happens when people run out of money. They start thinking they're no good.

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Barbara Kingsolver

In the long run, most of us spend about fifteen minutes total in the entanglements of passion, and the rest of our days looking back on it, humming the tune.

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Barbara Kingsolver

There is no perfect time to write. There is only now.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Oh, mercy. If it catches you in the wrong frame of mind, the King James Bible can make you want to drink poison in no uncertain terms.

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Barbara Kingsolver

A careless way of sauntering across the earth and breaking open its treasures, a terrible dependency on sucking out the world's best juices for ourselves-these may also be our enemies. The changes we dread...

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Barbara Kingsolver

There's a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from D-Day are buried. The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other. I remember looking it over and thinking it was a forest of graves....

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Barbara Kingsolver

My life is a pitiful, mechanical thing without a past, like a little wind-up car, ready to run in any direction someone points me.

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Barbara Kingsolver

As long as I kept moving, my grief streamed out behind me like a swimmer's long hair in water. I knew the weight was there but it didn't touch me. Only when I stopped did the slick, dark stuff of it come...

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Barbara Kingsolver

But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after - oh, that's love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Independence is a complex word in a foreign tongue. To resist occupation, whether you're a nation or merely a woman, you must understand the language of your enemy. Conquest and liberation and democrac...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Bitter words normally evaporate with the moisture of breath, after a quarrel. In order to become permanent, they require transcribers, reporters, complicit black hearts.

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Barbara Kingsolver

War so conspicuously benefits rich men and kills the poor ones.

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Barbara Kingsolver

To think is not always to see.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Every life is different because you passed this way and touched history.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Loose lips sink ships.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's a great freedom to give up on love, and get on with everything else.

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Barbara Kingsolver

There are some who'd hardly lift a finger for kindness, but they would haul up a load of rock to dump on some soul they think's been too lucky.

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Barbara Kingsolver

A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven't. Most don't mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn't happened,...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Wake up now, look alive, for here is a day off work just to praise Creation: the turkey, the squash, and the corn, these things that ate and drank sunshine, grass, mud, and rain, and then in the shortening...

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Barbara Kingsolver

The arc of history is longer than human vision. It bends. We abolished slavery, we granted universal suffrage. We have done hard things before. And every time it took a terrible fight between people who...

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Barbara Kingsolver

He lifts her breasts, which fit perfectly into his hands, though he knows this is no promise that he gets to keep them. A million things you can't have will fit in a human hand.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Every one of us is called upon, perhaps many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job...And onward full-tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute,...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own. That is why you read it, and...

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Barbara Kingsolver

So one time when I was working in this motel one of the toilets leaked and I had to replace the flapper ball. Here's what it said on the package; I kept it till I knew it by heart: 'Please Note. Parts...

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Barbara Kingsolver

I thought: this is how life is, ridiculous beyond comprehension.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I learned to produce whether I wanted to or not. It would be easy to say oh, I have writer's block, oh, I have to wait for my muse. I don't. Chain that muse to your desk and get the job done.

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Barbara Kingsolver

When you're given a brilliant child you polish her and let her shine. Pigs in Heaven

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Barbara Kingsolver

This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Children can be your heartache. But that doesn't matter, you have to go on and have them . . . it works out.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Sadness is more or less like a head cold - with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Now I'm starting to think he wasn't supposed to be my whole life, he was just this doorway to me.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Oh, that river of wishes, the slippery crocodile dream of it, how it might have carried my body down through all the glittering sand bars to the sea.

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Barbara Kingsolver

A sound-bite culture can't discuss science very well. Exactly what we're losing when we reduce biodiversity, the causes and consequences of global warming-these traumas can't be adequately summarized in...

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Barbara Kingsolver

People ask without wanting to know.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It occurs to her that there is one thing about people you can never understand well enough: how entirely inside themselves they are.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Anybody can get worked up, if they have the intention. It's peacefulness that is hard to come by on purpose.

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Barbara Kingsolver

But nothing on this earth is guaranteed, when you get right down to it, you know ? I've been thinking about that. About how your kids aren't really YOURS, they're just these people that you try to keep...

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Barbara Kingsolver

You could love your crazy people, even admire them, instead of resenting that they're not self-sufficient.

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Barbara Kingsolver

A human being can be good or bad or right or wrong, maybe. But how can you say a person is illegal? You just can't. That's all there is to it.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The thing is, it's my own fault. I just can't put up with a person that won't go out of his way for me. And that's what a man is. Somebody that won't go out of his way for you. I bet it says that in the...

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Barbara Kingsolver

I did it to win love, and to prove myself capable. Not to move mountains. In my opinions, mountains don't move. They only look changed when you look down on them from great height.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's one thing to carry your life wherever you go. Another thing to always go looking for it somewhere else.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Sometimes I prayed for Baby Jesus to make me good, but Baby Jesus didn't.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The average food item on a U.S. grocery shelf has traveled farther than most families go on their annual vacations.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Over the last decade our country has lost an average of 300 farms a week. Large or small, each of those was the lifes work of a real person or family, people who built their lives around a promise and...

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Barbara Kingsolver

The most important part of a story is the piece of it you don't know.

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Barbara Kingsolver

When the scope of the problem seems insuperable, isn't it time to call this one, give it up, and get on with life as we know it. I do know that answer to that one: that's called child abuse. When my teenager...

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Barbara Kingsolver

If you ask me, when something extraordinary shows up in your life in the middle of the night, you give it a name and make it the best home you can.

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Barbara Kingsolver

People read books to escape the uncertainties of life.

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Barbara Kingsolver

People love to read about sins and errors, but not their own.

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Barbara Kingsolver

There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, 'There now, hang on, you'll get over it.' Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes....

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Barbara Kingsolver

You know what the issue is? Do you want to know? It's what these guys have decided to call America. They have the audacity to say, 'There, you sons of bitches, don't lay a finger on it. That is a finished...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Listen. Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember.

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Barbara Kingsolver

You don't think you'll live past it and you don't really. The person you were is gone. But the half of you that's still alive wakes up one day and takes over again.

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Barbara Kingsolver

You can curse the dead or pray for them, but don't expect them to do a thing for you. They're far too interested in watching us, to see what in heaven's name we will do next.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Be careful what you give children, for sooner or later you are sure to get it back.

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Barbara Kingsolver

High fashion has the shelf life of potato salad. And when past its prime, it is similarly deadly.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Hallie and I... were all there was. The image in the mirror that proves you are still here. We had exactly one sister apiece. We grew up knowing the simple arithmetic of scarcity: A sister is more precious...

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Barbara Kingsolver

You know things are bad when a woman without any legs and who recently lost two of her own kids feels sorry for you.

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Barbara Kingsolver

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." - Mrs. Brown

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's the same struggle for each of us, and the same path out: the utterly simple, infinitely wise, ultimately defiant act of loving one thing and then another, loving our way back to life.

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Barbara Kingsolver

If you can't dress expensive, dress memorable.

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Barbara Kingsolver

If the Lord hasn't got a boyfriend lined up for me to marry, that's his business.

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Barbara Kingsolver

...nothing momentous comes in this world unless it comes on the shoulders of kindness.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Lies are infinite in number, and the truth so small and singular.

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Barbara Kingsolver

No reporter worth his buttons will let the facts intrude on a good story.

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Barbara Kingsolver

You know reviewers, they are the wind in their own sails.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Mexico admits you through an arched stone orifice into the tree-filled courtyard of its heart, where a dog pisses against a wall and a waiter hustles through a curtain of jasmine to bring a bowl of tortilla...

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Barbara Kingsolver

When I look out the window, I exhale a prayer of thanks for the color green, for my children's safety, for the simple acts of faith like planting a garden that helped see us through another spring, another...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Most people no longer believe that buying sneakers made in Asian sweatshops is a kindness to those child laborers. Farming is similar. In every country on earth, the most human scenario for farmers is...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Once you start cooking, one thing leads to another. A new recipe is as exciting as a blind date. A new ingredient, heaven help me, is an intoxicating affair.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Corn syrup and added fats have been outed as major ingredients in fast food, but they hide out in packaged foods too, even presumed-innocent ones like crackers.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Even feigning surprise, pretending it was unexpected and saying a ritual thanks, is surely wiser than just expecting everything so carelessly.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Respecting the dignity of a spectacular food means enjoying it at its best. Europeans celebrate the short season of abundant asparagus as a form of holiday. In the Netherlands the first cutting coincides...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Finally, cooking is good citizenship. It's the only way to get serious about putting locally raised foods into your diet, which keeps farmlands healthy and grocery money in the neighborhood.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Food culture in the United States has long been cast as the property of a privileged class. It is nothing of the kind. Culture is the property of a species.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The standard approach has been to pump up the dosage of chemicals ... Twenty percent of these approved-for-use pesticides are listed by the EPA as carcinogenic in humans.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Given my own circumstances, I find that anything can turn out to belong nearly anywhere.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Time cures you first, and then it kills you.

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Barbara Kingsolver

In my own worst seasons I've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window....

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Barbara Kingsolver

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

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Barbara Kingsolver

What we end up calling history is a kind of knife, slicing down through time. A few people are hard enough to bend its edge. But most won't even stand close to the blade. I'm one of those. We don't bend...

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Barbara Kingsolver

This is what it means to be alone: everyone is connected to everyone else, their bodies are a bright liquid life flowing around you, sharing a single heart that drives them to move all together. If the...

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Barbara Kingsolver

There was a roaring in my ears and I lost track of what they were saying. I believe it was the physical manifestation of unbearable grief.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Like kids who only ever get socks for Christmas, but still believe with all their hearts in Santa.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don't know.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Gilbert has established herself as a straight-up storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly discovery, and this novel stands as a winning next act. THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS is a bracing homage...

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Barbara Kingsolver

How pointless life could be, what a foolish business of inventing things to love, just so you could dread losing them.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I lost a child," she said, meeting Lusa's eyes directly. "I thought I wouldn't live through it. But you do. You learn to love the place somebody leaves behind for you.

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Barbara Kingsolver

You can be as earnest and ridiculous as you need to be, if you don't attempt it in isolation. The ridiculously earnest are known to travel in groups. And they are known to change the world.

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Barbara Kingsolver

This is how moths speak to each other. They tell their love across the fields by scent. There is no mouth, the wrong words are impossible, either a mate is there or he is not, and if so the pair will find...

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's frightening when things you love appear suddenly changed from what you have always known.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Listen. To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know. In perfect stillness, frankly, I've only found sorrow.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's terrible to lose somebody, but it's also true that some people never have anybody to lose, and I think that's got to be so much worse.

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Barbara Kingsolver

He was my father. I own half his genes, and all of his history. Believe this: the mistakes are part of the story. I am born of a man who believed he could tell nothing but the truth, while he set down...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Alice wonders if other women in the middle of the night have begun to resent their Formica.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Morning always comes.

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Barbara Kingsolver

There's such a gulf between yourself and who you were then, but people speak to that other person and it answers; it's like having a stranger as a house guest in your skin.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Perhaps growing up meant we put our knives away and feigned ignorance of the damage.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Sometimes I still have American dreams. I mean literally. I see microwave ovens and exercise machines and grocery store shelves with 30 brands of shampoo, and I look at these things oddly, in my dream....

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Barbara Kingsolver

I wonder that religion can live or die on the strength of a faint, stirring breeze. The scent trail shifts, causing the predator to miss the pounce. One god draws in the breath of life and rises; another...

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Barbara Kingsolver

I know how people are, with their habits of mind. Most will sail through from cradle to grave with a conscience clean as snow...I know people. Most have no earthly notion of the price of a snow-white conscience.

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Barbara Kingsolver

This story about good food begins in a quick-stop convenience market.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Wherever I am, let me never forget to distinguish want from need

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Barbara Kingsolver

Our house is like an empty cigarette packet, lying around reminding you what's not in it.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The daily work - that goes on, it adds up.

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Barbara Kingsolver

There were two things about Mama. One is she always expected the best out of me. And the other is that then no matter what I did, whatever I came home with, she acted like it was the moon I had just hung...

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Barbara Kingsolver

God doesn’t need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves.

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Barbara Kingsolver

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...

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Barbara Kingsolver

If we can't, as artists, improve on real life, we should put down our pencils and go bake bread.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Mother could go for one year without food, but not one day without her lip sticks.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you’re good, bad things can still happen. And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky.

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Barbara Kingsolver

My father wears his faith like the bronze breastplate of God's footsoldiers while our mother's is more like a good cloth coat with a secondhand fit.

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Barbara Kingsolver

With all due respect for the wondrous ways people have invented to amuse themselves and one another on paved surfaces, I find that this exodus from the land makes me unspeakably sad. I think of the children...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Silence has many advantages. When you do not speak, other people presume you to be deaf or feeble-minded and promptly make a show of their own limitations.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It's the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else's pain is as meaningful as your own.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.

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Barbara Kingsolver

What keeps you going isn't some fine destination but just the road you're on, and the fact that you know how to drive.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work - that goes on, it adds up.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.

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Barbara Kingsolver

To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another that is surely the basic instinct - crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is!

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Barbara Kingsolver

Good fiction creates empathy. A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through the eyes of another person, to live another life.

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Barbara Kingsolver

What you lose in blindness is the space around you, the place where you are, and without that you might not exist. You could be nowhere at all.

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Barbara Kingsolver

There's always a part of your nation's history that you haven't been told that... has a powerful impact on how you yourself may behave and may believe.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I'm not pretending to be ingenuous; I know what I'm doing.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Literature sucks you into another psyche. So the creation of empathy necessarily influences how you'll behave to other people.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Humans can be fairly ridiculous animals.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It takes some courage to write fiction about politically controversial topics. The dread is you'll be labeled a political writer.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Small change, small wonders - these are the currency of my endurance and ultimately of my life.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The truth needs so little rehearsal.

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Barbara Kingsolver

We're animals. We're born like every other mammal and we live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts.

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Barbara Kingsolver

People's dreams are made out of what they do all day. The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits. It's what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around.

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Barbara Kingsolver

After 'The Poisonwood Bible' was published, several people believed that my parents were missionaries, which could not be further from the truth.

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Barbara Kingsolver

As a biologist, I can't think of myself as anything but an animal among animals and plant.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can't even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I do my best work if I think about what it is I have to offer.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I don't bring expectations to any of my books. I don't tell people what to do. I want to invite them in.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I know I'm a rare person, a trained scientist who writes fiction, because so few contemporary novelists engage with science.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I live in a rural part of Virginia surrounded by farms and farmers.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I never think that anything I'm writing is bluntly political in any way. I'm not going for commentary.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I suppose that is my central obsession. What we owe to society, what we owe to ourselves.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn't rip off.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Nonfiction requires enormous discipline. You construct the terms of your story, and then you stick to them.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Terms like that, 'Humane Society,' are devised with people like me in mind, who don't care to dwell on what happens to the innocent.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The older I get, the more I appreciate my rural childhood. I spent a lot of time outdoors, unsupervised, which is a blessing.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I can count all the ways in which being a mother has enriched my understanding of the world, of character, my sense of the future and my attachment to it. I can't imagine what kind of writer I'd be if...

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Barbara Kingsolver

I used to think religion was just more of the same thing. Dump responsibility on the big guy. Now I see an importance in that. It's a relief to accept that not everything is under your control.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Being a novelist and being a mother have exactly coincided in my life: the call from my agent saying that I had a contract for my first novel - that was on my answering phone message when I got back from...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Every time I step onto an airplane, I turn to the right and take a good, hard stare into the maw of the engine. I don't know what I'm looking for. I just do it.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I live in southern Appalachia, so I'm surrounded by people who work very hard for barely a living wage. It's particularly painful that people are working the farms their parents and grandparents worked...

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Barbara Kingsolver

I love developing children as characters. Children rarely have important roles in literary fiction - they are usually defined as cute or precious, or they create a plot by being kidnapped or dying.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I think the most interesting parts of human experience might be the sparks that come from that sort of chipping flint of cultures rubbing against each other.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I've always seen the world through the eyes of a scientist. I love the predictable outcomes that science gives us, the control over the world that that can render.

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Barbara Kingsolver

In the day-to-day, farm work is stress relief for me. At the end of the day, I love having this other career - my anti-job - that keeps me in shape and gives me control over a vegetal domain.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's a funny thing: people often ask how I discipline myself to write. I can't begin to understand the question. For me, the discipline is turning off the computer and leaving my desk to do something else.

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Barbara Kingsolver

My morning begins with trying not to get up before the sun rises. But when I do, it's because my head is too full of words, and I just need to get to my desk and start dumping them into a file. I always...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Southern Appalachians have been ridiculed since the country began. In fiction, they're usually depicted in a cartoonish manner. The region is poor, and very suspicious of outsiders, so there's a sort of...

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Barbara Kingsolver

When people are frightened about going hungry and paying their mortgages, a scarcity model begins to prevail; they fear someone else will get their piece of the pie.

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Barbara Kingsolver

You always need that spark of imagination. Sometimes I'm midway through a book before it happens. However, I don't wait for the muse to descend, I sit down every day and I work when I'm not delivering...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Now, see, that's why you want Internet friends. You can find people just exactly like you. Screw your neighbors and your family, too messy...the trouble is, once you filter out everybody that doesn't agree...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Science doesn't tell us what we should do. It only tells us what is.

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Barbara Kingsolver

They all attended Hester's church, which Dellarobia viewed as a complicated pyramid scheme of moral debt and credit resting ultimately on the shoulders of the Lord, but rife with middle managers.

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Barbara Kingsolver

How strange to read of a place in a book, and then stand on it, listen to the birds sing, and spit on the cobbles if you want.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book.

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Barbara Kingsolver

A mother's body remembers her babies-the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has it's own entreaties to body and soul.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The past is all we know of the future.

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Barbara Kingsolver

No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Memories do not always soften with time; some grow edges like knives.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Does a man become a revolutionary out of the belief he's entitled to joy rather than submission?

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Barbara Kingsolver

He needs to go rub his soul against life.

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Barbara Kingsolver

you can't really know the person standing before you, because always there is some missing piece

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Barbara Kingsolver

When we traded homemaking for careers, we were implicitly promised economic independence and worldly influence. But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma...

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Barbara Kingsolver

I considered her my ally, because, like me, she was imperfect.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Silence has many advantages…I write and draw in my notebook and I read anything I please.

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Barbara Kingsolver

This Forest eats itself and lives forever.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Households that have lost the soul of cooking from their routines may not know what they are missing: the song of a stir-fry sizzle, the small talk of clinking measuring spoons, the yeasty scent of rising...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Tall and straight I may appear, but I will always be Ada inside. A crooked little person trying to tell the truth. The power is in the balance: we are our injuries, as much as we are our successes

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Barbara Kingsolver

The wrong words are impossible when there are no words.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Insomnia’s different,” I said. It was hard to explain this to people. “You know the light that comes on when you open the refrigerator door? Just imagine it stays on all the time, even after you...

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Barbara Kingsolver

For scientists, reality is not optional.

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Barbara Kingsolver

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...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Mistakes wreck your life. But they make what you have. It's kind of all one. You know what Hester told me when we were working the sheep one time? She said it's no good to complain about your flock, because...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Maybe life doesn't get any better than this, or any worse, and what we get is just what we're willing to find: small wonders, where they grow.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It is true that I do not speak as well as I can think. But that is true of most people, as nearly as I can tell.

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Barbara Kingsolver

He warned Mother not to flout God's Will by expecting too much of us. "Sending a girl to college is like pouring water in your shoes,' he still loves to say, as often as possible. 'It's hard to say which...

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Barbara Kingsolver

A breeze shook rain out of new leaves onto their hair, but in their pursuit of eternity they never noticed the chill.

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Barbara Kingsolver

To people who think of themselves as God's houseguests, American enterprise must seem arrogant beyond belief. Or stupid. A nation of amnesiacs, proceeding as if there were no other day but today. Assuming...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Awareness is everything. Hallie once pointed out to me that people worry a lot more about the eternity *after* their deaths than the eternity that happened before they were born. But it's the same amount...

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Barbara Kingsolver

The death of something living is the price of our own survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Everything you're sure is right can be wrong in another place.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It's everyone's, come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Your dreams, what you hope for and all that, it's not separate from your life. It grows right up out of it.

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Barbara Kingsolver

April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot wrote, by which I think he meant (among other things) that springtime makes people crazy. We expect too much, the world burgeons with promises it can't keep, all...

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Barbara Kingsolver

I learned to write by reading the kind of books I wished I'd written.

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Barbara Kingsolver

The loudest sound on earth, she thought, is a man with nothing to do.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Watching Italians eat (especially men, I have to say) is a form of tourism the books don't tell you about. They close their eyes, raise their eyebrows into accent marks, and make sounds of acute appreciation....

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Barbara Kingsolver

Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Eaters must understand, how we eat determines how the world is used.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Every life is different because you passed this way and touched history... Listen being dead is not worse than being alive. It is different though. You could say the view is larger.

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Barbara Kingsolver

No matter what kind of night you're having, morning always wins.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Our holiday food splurge was a small crate of tangerines, which we found ridiculously thrilling after an eight-month abstinence from citrus.... Lily hugged each one to her chest before undressing it as...

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Barbara Kingsolver

One of the very first things I figured out about life...is that it's better to be a hopeful person than a cynical, grumpy one, because you have to live in the same world either way, and if you're hopeful,...

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Barbara Kingsolver

The power is in the balance: we are our injuries, as much as we are our successes.

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Barbara Kingsolver

restraint equals indulgence

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Barbara Kingsolver

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.

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Barbara Kingsolver

But still, I’d be darned if I was going to be one of those Americans who stomp around Italy barking commands in ever-louder English. I was going to be one of those Americans who traversed Italy with...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Do you think its possible to live without wanting to put your name on your paintings? To belong to a group so securely you don't need to rise above it?

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Barbara Kingsolver

Cooking is 80 percent confidence, a skill best acquired starting from when the apron strings wrap around you twice.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's what you do that makes your soul.

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Barbara Kingsolver

It's the one thing we never quite get over: that we contain our own future.

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Barbara Kingsolver

If you want sweet dreams, you've got to live a sweet life.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Mom is losing, no doubt, because our vegetables have come to lack two features of interest: nutrition and flavor. Storage and transport take predictable tolls on the volatile plant compounds that subtly...

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Barbara Kingsolver

...trust in Creation which is made fresh daily and doesn’t suffer in translation. This God does not work in especially mysterious ways. The sun here rises and sets at six exactly. A caterpillar becomes...

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Barbara Kingsolver

She kept swimming out into life because she hadn't yet found a rock to stand on.

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Barbara Kingsolver

God, why does a mortal man have children? It is senseless to love anything this much.

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Barbara Kingsolver

But I've swallowed my pride before, that's for sure. I'm practically lined with my mistakes on the inside like a bad-wallpapered bathroom.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Human manners are wildly inconsistent; plenty of people have said so. But this one takes the cake: the manner in which we're allowed to steal from future generations, while commanding them not to do that...

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Barbara Kingsolver

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.

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Barbara Kingsolver

I can think of no honorable answer. Why must some of us deliberate between brands of toothpaste, while others deliberate between damp dirt and bone dust to quiet the fire of an empty stomach lining? There...

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Barbara Kingsolver

Honk if you love Jesus, text while driving if you want to meet up.

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Barbara Kingsolver

Hunger of the body is altogether different from the shallow, daily hunger of the belly. Those who have known this kind of hunger cannot entirely love, ever again, those who have not.

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss