Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (Hardcover)
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Spring/Summer '09 Reading Group List
“Barbara Kingsolver's account of buying only food raised in her own neighborhood speaks to us all about the urgency of living on, and in, our respective communities.”
— Betsy Goree, The Book Shelf, Tryon, NC
At long last, the bestselling author of Small Miracles and The Poisonwood Bible returns with the wise and compelling true story of her family’s adventure to reclaim the food they eat
America has long been a nation of farmers. But within the past several decades, our food supply has become dependent on transportation that burns fossil fuels and on increasingly fewer varieties of vegetables and animals. In a single generation, most Americans have lost their knowledge of agriculture and the natural processes that are a part of our food chain. But while food is cheap we pay for it in other ways, including shorter life spans for our children, argues Barbara Kingsolver.
Determined to integrate their food choices with their family values, Kingsolver and her family moved from suburban Arizona to a rural Appalachia, and embarked on an adventure of realigning their lives with the food chain. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows them through the first year of their experiment.
Told in the compelling voices of the Kingsolver family, it recalls their experiences, and introduces other passionate, committed citizens who are trying to turn the tide in their communities, from organic farmers to members of the Slow Food movement who are doing their best to protect our foods against extinction and return us to a way of life that is better for our health, our wallets, and our environment.
About the Author
Barbara Kingsolver is the author of ten bestselling works of fiction, including the novels Unsheltered, 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 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 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.
Camille Kingsolver graduated from Duke University in 2009 and currently works in the mental health field. She is an active advocate for the local-food movement, doing public speaking for young adults of her own generation navigating food choices in a difficult economy. She lives in Asheville, N.C., and grows a vegetable garden in her front yard.
Steven L. Hopp was trained in life sciences and received his PhD from Indiana University. He has published papers in bioacoustics, ornithology, animal behavior and more recently in sustainable agriculture. He is the founder and director of the Meadowview Farmers Guild, a community development project that includes a local foods restaurant and general store that source their products locally. He teaches at Emory & Henry College in the Environmental Studies department. He coauthored Animal, Vegetable, Miracle with Barbara Kingsolver and Camille Kingsolver.
“Charming, zestful, funny and poetic…a serious book about important problems.” — Washington Post Book World
“Charming . . . Literary magic . . . If you love the narrative voice of Barbara Kingsolver, you will be thrilled.” — Houston Chronicle
“ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE makes an important contribution to the chorus of voices calling for change.”” — Chicago Tribune
“If you...buy...one book this summer, make it this one...As satisfying and complete as a down home supper.” — Tucson Citizen
“Engaging…Absorbing…Lovely food writing…[Kingsolver] succeeds at adopting the warm tone of a confiding friend.” — Corby Kummer, New York Times Book Review
“A lovely book. ” — Los Angeles Times
“[Written] with passion and hope…This novelist paints a compelling big picture-broad and ambitious, with nary an extraneous stroke.” — Rocky Mountain News
“Homespun, unassuming, informed, positive, inspiring. . . . Unstinting in its concerns about this imperiled planet.” — Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“A profound, graceful, and literary work . . . Timeless. . . . It can change who you are.” — Rick Bass, Boston Globe
“Classy and disarming, substantive and entertaining, earnest and funny....Kingsolver takes the genre to a new literary level.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Kingsolver elegantly chronicles a year of back-to-the-land living…Readers...will take heart and inspiration here.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Kingsolver beautifully describes this experience.” — More Magazine
“Kingsolver dresses down the American food complex…These down-on-the-farm sections are inspiring and…compelling.” — Outside magazine
“Faithful, funny, and thought-provoking...Readers-whether vegetarian or carnivore-will not go hungry, literally or literarily.” — BookPage
“Equal parts folk wisdom and political activism . . . This family effort instructs as much as it entertains.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Full…of zest and sometimes ribald humor… Reading this book will make you hungry.” — Raleigh News & Observer
“Lessons learned in sustainability are worth feasting on-and taking to heart.” — Self
“Every bit as transporting as-and more ecologically relevant than-any “Year In Provence”-style escapism...Earthy...informative....[and] englightened.” — Washington Post
“Provocative . . . Kingsolver . . . evokes the sheer joy of producing one’s own food.” — People
“An impassioned, sensual, smart and witty narrative…Kinsolver is a master at leavening a serious message with humor.” — St. Petersburg Times
“Wry, insightful and inspiring to anyone who yearns to work with the earth.” — Chicago Tribune (on the audiobook)
“Kingsolver…adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us...[A] vicarious taste of domesticity.” — Christian Science Monitor
“A terrific effort. The delight for readers…is the chance to experience the rediscovery of community through food.” — The Oregonian (Portland)
“Kingsolver, who writes evocatively about our connection to place, does so here with characteristic glowing prose. She provides the rapture.” — Miami Herald
“If you’re interested in learning more about healthful eating, you’ll want to read…ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE.” — Charlotte Observer
“Loaded with terrific information about everything from growth hormones to farm subsidies.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Kingsolver carries us along in her distinct and breezy prose.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“I defy anyone to read this book and walk away from it without gaining at least the desire to change.” — Bookreporter.com
“Charming...and persuasive...Each season-and chapter-unfolds with a natural rhythm and mouth-watering appeal.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Anyone who read and appreciated THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA by Michael Pollan will want to read Barbara Kingsolver’s book.” — Roanoke Times
“[This] is a book that, without being preachy, makes a solid case for eating locally instead of globally.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Highly digestible…Engaging.” — Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe
“Other notable writers have addressed this topic, but Kingsolver claims it as her own....Self-deprecating instead of self-righteous.” — Charlotte Observer
“Delectable . . . steeped in elegant prose and seasoned with smart morsels about the food industry.” — Chicago Tribune
“[Kingsolver is] a master storyteller, and even those who’ve heard this tale before will be captivated.” — Daily News
“ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE is a chronicle of food feats…I’m inclined to agree with most points Kingsolver makes.” — Chicago Sun-Times
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