Small Wonder

Small Wonder

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Overview

Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver, Paul Mirocha

In her new essay collection, the beloved author of High Tide in Tucson brings to us, out of one of history's darker moments, an extended love song to the world we still have.

Whether she is contemplating the Grand Canyon, her vegetable garden, motherhood, genetic engineering, or the future of a nation founded on the best of all human impulses, these essays are grounded in the author's belief that our largest problems have grown from the earth's remotest corners as well as our own backyards, and that answers may lie in both those places.

Sometimes grave, occasionally hilarious, and ultimately persuasive, Small Wonder is a hopeful examination of the people we seem to be, and what we might yet make of ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060504083
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/27/2003
Series: Harper Perennial
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 138,318
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.73(d)

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver's work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts. She received the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work, and in 2010 won Britain's Orange Prize for The Lacuna. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She now lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Date of Birth:

April 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Annapolis, Maryland

Education:

B.A., DePauw University, 1977; M.S., University of Arizona, 1981

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Small Wonder 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Barbara Kingsolver prefaces her new collection of essays by revealing her personal need to undertake the work on Sept. 12, 2001 at that 'awful time that dawned on us' and that it 'became for me a way of surviving that time.' As a woman, mother, academic naturalist, acclaimed writer, activist of humanitarian and environmental causes, moralist and patriot, she brings all of these factors into ever consistent harmony with the need to express herself as a form of relief for her own grief and that of others, one and inseparable, and thus cleanse ourselves of the bad humors of lingering suffering. In the complex process of writing Barbara Kingsolver becomes aware that what she was doing was in effect describing the universality of existential suffering imbedded in us since time immemorial , 'the process of grief', that eternal return; and she adds, 'It began in a moment but ended with all time.' Any efficacious solution of that suffering can never occur unless we analyze the good and evil within us, try to understand God's Creation as well as the ethical values manifest within us the citizens and in the institutions of our land, especially in government and commerce. In agreement with her cyclical generative vision of nature, Kingsolver believes we can rise from the ashes and proceed to reconstruct our lives. There is no single essay wherein Ms. Kingsolver doesn't stand in awe of both Mother Nature and our own human nature. The first essay which sets the tone and theme for all that is to come deals with the parable or myth-like media account of a she-bear that suckles a lost toddler. 'I have stories of things I believe: a persistent river, a forest in the edge of night, the religion inside a seed, the startle of wingbeats when a spark of red life flies against all reason out of darkness. One child, one bear. I'd like to speak of small wonders, and the possibility of taking heart.' All the essays that ensue open our vision to the world and ourselves. Some have accused Ms. Kingsolver of sentimentality and misinformation, both fallacious assertions. As the facets of her persona above indicate, Barbara Kingsolver is one of the best 'put-together' persons one can meet. And we meet her at her best in this new collection of essays. Her analysis of the ubiquitous phenomenon of violence in the United States and its recurrence in our wars is a true fact of American life. If we could only listen to the beat of man's heart of darkness, the flow of the persistent river, the small wonders that surround us and the voice of the poet,we jointly would reconstruct a better world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sentimental, reactive, dramatic, emotional and on and on. So many reviewers will weeze their weak breath. I just wish to thank Ms. Kingsolver. Along with the seemingly extrodinary events that surround September eleventh, this book of essays will forever speak clearly to those in the unimaginable future. With heartbreak and mourning all around us, this collection of thoughts gives us a place to drop an anchor from the soul. I tire quickly of those who write elegant reviews and miss the point. The written word, like my flag is not the property nor the currency of any one caste or class. It is the weapon that cruel self centered bullies cannot shield against. We are turning a corner as a species. Thank you Barbara for pointing out that the signal light pulsed green.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a book! An invaluable collection of knowledge, attitudes, new points-of-view, and love for all life. If more authors had even half of Ms. Kingsolver's talent, what a wonderful world this could be.
marivera007 More than 1 year ago
This book carried a lot of personal, educational, and wise thoughts from Mrs. Kingsolver. She balanced out every paragraph in every essay with a complete thought and had details to explain what was going on in her sentences. I honestly have to say this book from Barbara Kingsolver stole my heart and I learned a lot of information on how to critique my own work. This book is about a decade old and some years but her literature will forever live in the modern-eye since her work shows a difference from previous authors before her. Her book wasn't a story but a book filled with her best essays. This book caught my attention from the small creative title she gave her book. As I continued to read her book I automatically fell in love with her way of sentence stucture and topic sentences. Also the subjects of her essays weren't boring. They were all different and very interesting due to the way she approached it. I especially enjoyed the essay about 9/11 and what was going on in her life at that time. She has such great artistic vision in her wording. I believe she wrote this book to release what she had been working on prior to the incident in New York but when that happened it put the icing on the cake for her to release this book sharing her inner-most personal experiences and also what she feels on some subjects of the matter. From the essay about her eldest daughter to the essay about her mother to the essay about her visit to mexico, this book showed a side of her I believe no one has seen up close. But honestly, I feel she was only venting on things that have been on her mind during that time. She surely showed professional literature in talking about simple things such as baby chickens. I would recommend anyone who wants to read about life and read great essays to learn from.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Barbara Kingsolver, a biology graduate and author, ends her first story in ¿Small Wonder¿ by writing, ¿I¿d like to speak of small wonders and the possibility of taking heart.¿ Instead of having a dangerous nationalistic attitude by saying, ¿Hey, America¿s the best!¿ she shows her patriotism for her country by celebrating the good and shining light on the bad so that we as a country might heal. With great insight and compassion Kingsolver gently helps us become more knowledgeable about our country¿s challenges and eloquently puts into words what many of us think and feel. About conservation she says the U.S. citizen¿s compromise 5% of the world¿s people and uses a quarter of its fuel. The U.S. belongs to the 20% of the world¿s population that generates 75% of its pollution. Although we are the world¿s biggest contributors to global warming we walked away from ratifying the Kyoto agreement with the 178 other nations in 2001. Instead of eating local produce the average American¿s food travels 5 million miles by land, sea and air. Yet our country possesses the resources to bring solar technology, energy independence and sustainable living to our planet. About the Government she says we live in the only rich country in the world that still tolerates poverty. In Japan, some European countries and Canada the state assumes the duty of providing all its citizens with good education, good health and shelter. These nations believe that homelessness simply isn¿t an option. The citizens pay higher taxes than the U.S. and so they have smaller homes, smaller cars, and appetites for consumer goods. They realize true peace is not the absence of tension but the presence of justice. About wars she says, ¿The losers of all wars are largely the innocent.¿ Seventy thousand people died in one minute when we bombed Japan in World War II. Then twice that many died slowly from the inside. ¿Vengeance does not subtract any numbers from the equation of murder, it only adds them." In the last 30 years our government has helped finance air assaults in Afghanistan, Chile, El Salvador, Grenada, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Panama, the Sudan, Vietnam and Yugoslavia. Most wars and campaigns are to maintain our fossil-fuel dependency and our wasteful consumption of unnecessary things. We need to stop being a nation who solves problems by killing people and to ¿aspire to waste not and want less.¿ About global commerce she says we have a history of overtaking the autonomy and economy of small countries with our large corporations. For example, U.S. corporations and the World Trade Organization are placing pressure on farmers of other countries to buy genetically altered seeds that kill their own embryos. This means the farmers will always have to buy new seeds and pesticides from these companies. The pesticides and insecticides not only kill the unwanted bugs but also the beneficial insects and microbes that sustain, pollinate or cull different species. Kingsolver does not advocate the transfer of DNA genes between species to form genetically altered seeds. We need the checks and balances of genetic variability¿it¿s nature¿s sole insurance policy. Without genetic variability entire crops are wiped out when environments change or crop strains succumb to disease. Our canceling the insurance policy of genetic variability is ¿a fist in the eye of God!¿ A few large American agricultural corporations control these genetically altered seeds and crops. Kingsover¿s essays are parables for a gentler, kinder country and world.
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Here fur stiks up like a cactus. Like a lovely spring day. Here name is spikykit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gingerstar gently pivks her up and brings her to third res.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Pads in and tries out her wings. Her right one twinges in pain and she falls down with a yowl. She needas a clan and a mom. Her wing is broken and shes only about the size of a bunny. Plz help her.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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