Barbara Kingsolver

  • July 29, 2011

Barbara KingsolverBarbara Kingsolver is an American novelist whose literary works include The Poisonwood Bible (1998), The Lacuna (2009) and the non-fiction  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:  A Year of Food Life (2007).  She is also an accomplished poet and essayist.  Her work often explores topics such as social justice, environmentalism, and biodiversity.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from DePaw University, Barbara worked as a  freelance writer and went on to earn a Master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona.  In 1994, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from DePauw University and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Duke University in 2008.  Throughout her life, Barbara has lived all over the globe, including the Canary Islands, England, France, and what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Barbara was named one of the most important writers of the 20th Century by Writer’s Digest and received the National Humanities Medal in 2000, the highest honor for service through the arts in the United States.  Her critically acclaimed books have won various awards from the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association.  The Poisonwood Bible won the national book award of South Africa, was chosen as an Oprah’s Book Club selection, and was a finalist for the both the Pulitzer Prize and the Orange Prize.  Every book Barbara has written since 1993 has been on the New York Times Best Seller list.  Her most recent work, The Lacuna, received the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010.


College/University Attended
DePauw University
Original Major
Music (Classical Piano)
Major Changes
Switched to Biology


“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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