Pause for thought: Barbara Kingsolver

The book that makes you cry about unreality.

Barbara Kingsolver“A novel works its magic by putting a reader inside another person’s life. The pace is as slow as life. It’s as detailed as life. It requires you, the reader, to fill in an outline of words with vivid pictures drawn subconsciously from your own life, so that the story feels more personal than the sets designed by someone else and handed over via TV or movies. 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 might even sit up in bed till early dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people who, you know perfectly well, are made up. It’s why you might find yourself crying, even if you aren’t the crying kind.”

From the essay “Jabberwocky” (1995) by American novelist, essayist and poet Barbara Kingsolver, who has published fifteen books including short stories, essays, poetry, and seven novels. The Poisonwood Bible was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and in 2010 she won the Orange Prize for Fiction with The Lacuna. Her latest novel is called Unsheltered.

Published by

Philip Lee

Writer and musician who tries to join up the dots.

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