Good Characters Make Good Stories

Photo by Elijah Mears on Unsplash

On November 7, 2023 member Cathy R. presented on author Barbara Kingsolver. This prolific American author produces character driven novels with a social message; her works are perennial book club favourites. Her most recent work, Demon Copperhead is set in her Appalachian home- now wracked by the opioid crisis.

Kingsolver is best known for that book and for The Poisonwood Bible. Some of her other successful books include: The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, Animal Dreams, Prodigal Summer, The Lacuna, Flight Behavior, Unsheltered and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – a guide to growing your own food. A quick poll of the room revealed most members have read at least one of Kingsolver’s books.

Cathy gave readings from the books Pigs in Heaven and Demon Copperhead. The readings illustrated how Barbara Kingsolver builds her novels the personality of the characters. Cathy also noted that these characters show exceptional resilience in the face of life’s great challenges.

Kingsolver uses her novels to illustrate social and political themes. In 1999, the author created the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction to reward new authors who are doing the same.

Thanks Cathy for providing us with a complete picture of an author we all know something of.

Join us next week when member Shawna M. will present on author Marcie R. Rendon.

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