Extraordiarily fine . . . Kingsolver has a Chekhovian tenderness toward her characters . . . The title story is pure poetry.
New York Times Book Review
Read Homeland and Other Stories and you will feel glad to be alive. You are delighted by a gifted storyteller. You are strengthened and healed by the toughness and tenderness she discerns in humanity's daily rounds.
Kingsolver is an extraordinary storyteller.
Los Angeles Times
Kingsolver's humanity sounds the clearest note.telling us about characters in the middle of their days, who live as we really do, from one small incident of awareness to the next.
New York Woman
Detroit Free Press
Kingsolver understands in an uncanny way the significance of the ordinary, the fleeting moment that may become lost or become catharsis. She writes with refreshing clarity, humor and honesty.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With this dazzling array of stories, demonstrating a wide range of characterizations, settings, situations and narrative voices, Kingsolver confirms the promise of her astonishingly accomplished first novel, The Bean Trees. Most of these dozen tales ring with authentic insights, leaving the reader moved, amused or enlightened. Kingsolver's knowledge of human nature, and especially domestic relationships, is breathtaking. She is able to convey the personalities and voices of such diverse characters as a feisty union organizer of Mexican ancestry; a young girl trying to be faithful to the legacy of her Cherokee grandmother; a life-scarred ex-con determined to go straight; an upper-middle-class wife and mother on a clandestine trip to the Petrified Forest with her lover; a middle-aged man whose cherished wife gives him an intimation of her mortality; a child from a poor farming family who befriends an outcast in her Kentucky community. Among the standout stories is ``Islands on the Moon,'' in which a single mother faces her pregnancy with added exasperation because her mother--also single--will be having a baby at the same time. Propelled by fresh, breezy dialogue, funny, tender and full of surprises, the story takes a poignant turn when the mother and daughter heal their estrangement on a portentous day. If the symbolism in a few of these tales is sometimes too obvious, Kingsolver handles every other narrative device with delicacy and subtle skill. First serial to Redbook and Mademoiselle. (June)
Kingsolver (Animal Dreams, Audio Reviews, LJ 1/95) offers a dozen tales of contemporary life that focus on relationships and the fragility of life and love. The central characters are all women or young girls who are struggling to understand themselves and those they love. In the title story, a child learns from her grandmother that home is not so much a place as it is a people and their history. In the concluding story, a tough-minded crane operator leads a wildcat strike and bears the consequences of her boldness with the sort of courage and determination that she hopes to instill in her children. All these tales of love, loss, and learning are told with insight and tenderness. There is a certain oral richness to these stories that renders them ideal for the audio format. Added to that dimension is the superb storytelling of narrator Paula Parker, who enriches Kingsolver's poetic prose with a variety of accents and voices. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.--Sister M. Anna Falbo, CSSF, Villa Maria Coll. Lib., Buffalo
Read an Excerpt
My great-grandmother belonged to the Bird Clan. one of the fugitive bands of Cherokee who resisted he year that General Winfield Scott was in charge of prodding the forest people from their beds and removing them westward. Those few who escaped his notice moved like wildcat families through the Carolina mountains, leaving the ferns unbroken where they passed, eating wild grapes and chestnuts, drinking when they found streams. The ones who could not travel, the aged and the infirm and the very young, were hidden in deep cane thickets where they would remain undiscovered until they were bones. When the people's hearts could not bear any more, they laid their deerskin packs on the ground and settled again.
General Scott had moved on to other endeavors by this time, and he allowed them to thrive or perish as they would. They built clay houses with thin, bent poles for spines, and in autumn they went down to the streams where the sycamore trees had let their year's work fall, the water steeped brown as leaf tea, and the people cleansed themselves of the sins of the scattered-bone time. They called their refugee years The Time When We Were Not, and they were for given, because they had carried the truth of themselves in a sheltered place inside the flesh, exactly the way a fruit that has gone soft still carries inside itself the clean, hard stone of its future...Homeland and Other Stories. Copyright © by Barbara Kingsolver. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.