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WORD: Barbara Kingsolver goes narrative nonfiction with ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’

Best-selling novelist and essayist Barbara Kingsolver has an unexpected book launching today (May 1). In her first narrative nonfiction title, ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,’ she describes her family’s adventures as they move to a farm and realign their lives with their surroundings, publisher HarperCollins announced.

Kingsolver, who has authored twelve books of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction including novels like 'The Bean Trees' and 'The Poisonwood Bible,' goes on a journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Adding to the intrigue, they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.

Their search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

We don’t expect this book is a straight ode to eating organic, though. In an excerpt, Kingsolver wrote:

"As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain.

"Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . ."

Kingsolver kicks off a national book tour tonight at 7:30 pm in Washington, DC, at the Washington National Cathedral and will follow with stops in several key regions across the US. San Francisco Bay Area fans can catch her on May 15 at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley. Other California stops include Book Passage in Corte Madera and Copperfield’s Books in Santa Rosa (both on May 16). Check out Kingsolver’s website for more information.


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