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Animal Dreams Unknown Binding – January 1, 1111


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 342 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 3rd printing edition (January 1, 1111)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006016350X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060163501
  • ASIN: B000FEFP9W
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,569,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland, and grew up in rural Kentucky. She counts among her most important early influences: the Bookmobile, a large family vegetable garden, the surrounding fields and woods, and parents who were tolerant of nature study but intolerant of TV.
Beginning around the age of nine, Barbara kept a journal, wrote poems and stories, and entered every essay contest she ever heard about. Her first published work, "Why We Need a New Elementary School," included an account of how the school's ceiling fell and injured her teacher. The essay was printed in the local newspaper prior to a school-bond election; the school bond passed. For her efforts Barbara won a $25 savings bond, on which she expected to live comfortably in adulthood.
After high school graduation she left Kentucky to enter DePauw University on a piano scholarship. She transferred from the music school to the college of liberal arts because of her desire to study practically everything, and graduated with a degree in biology. She spent the late 1970's in Greece, France and England seeking her fortune, but had not found it by the time her work visa expired in 1979. She then moved to Tucson, Arizona, out of curiosity to see the American southwest, and eventually pursued graduate studies in evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. After graduate school she worked as a scientific writer for the University of Arizona before becoming a freelance journalist.
Kingsolver's short fiction and poetry began to be published during the mid-1980's, along with the articles she wrote regularly for regional and national periodicals. She wrote her first novel, The Bean Trees, entirely at night, in the abundant free time made available by chronic insomnia during pregnancy. Completed just before the birth of her first child, in March 1987, the novel was published by HarperCollins the following year with a modest first printing. Widespread critical acclaim and word-of-mouth support have kept the book continuously in print since then. The Bean Trees has now been adopted into the core curriculum of high school and college literature classes across the U.S., and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
She has written eleven more books since then, including the novels Animal Dreams , Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible, and Prodigal Summer ; a collection of short stories (Homeland ); poetry (Another America ); an oral history (Holding the Line ); two essay collections (High Tide in Tucson, Small Wonder ); a prose-poetry text accompanying the photography of Annie Griffiths Belt (Last Stand ); and most recently, her first full-length narrative non-fiction, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She has contributed to dozens of literary anthologies, and her reviews and articles have appeared in most major U.S. newspapers and magazines. Her books have earned major literary awards at home and abroad, and in 2000 she received the National Humanities Medal, our nation's highest honor for service through the arts.
In 1997 Barbara established the Bellwether Prize, awarded in even-numbered years to a first novel that exemplifies outstanding literary quality and a commitment to literature as a tool for social change.
Barbara is the mother of two daughters, Camille and Lily, and is married to Steven Hopp, a professor of environmental sciences. In 2004, after more than 25 years in Tucson, Arizona, Barbara left the southwest to return to her native terrain. She now lives with her family on a farm in southwestern Virginia where they raise free-range chickens, turkeys, Icelandic sheep, and an enormous vegetable garden.

Customer Reviews

Kingsolver's writing is beautiful.
Shannon Kapek
Kingsolver gives us a lesson in politics, life, and love in Animal Dreams.
Jessie
I loved the writing, the characters and the plot development.
Anne Melvin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 169 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
I stumbled upon this book in 1991 when the cover art caught my eye. I had finished it by the afternoon, and by the evening, I was back at it with a pencil. The magical way that Kingsolver weaves language had me marking passages in the text and furiously copying quotes into the margins of my dayplanner. I was a college sophomore at the time, and Codi's sometimes brilliant, often hapless search to find her place in the world was familiar and affirming. I quickly bought Animal Dreams for six or seven women friends and family and each of them, whether they read it that day, or years later, raced to their phones or desks when they finished to thank me for selecting a novel that spoke so personally to them. Twenty-something women seem to especially identify with Codi's journey. While her story, and those of Loyd, Hallie, Doc Homer and the others will stay with you, the novel's impact really comes from it's powerful prose. You'll reread the same passages over and over, savoring the remarkable way Kingsolver constructs the simplest sentance. This book still feels like my personal anthem to that time in my life; thanks to Barbara Kingsolver for giving me such enjoyment and insight. If you like this book, be sure to get a copy of High Tide in Tucson, her essay collection. Don't let the "essay" part deter you. I have copied and circulated the title piece to women friends and family ages 16 to 89 and always it always elicits the same marvelled response. It's breathtaking.
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful By kerridv on December 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Animal Dreams is a rich tapestry woven of many threads: mystery, love, politics, environment, benelovance, history, culture, and the finding of oneself. When Codi Noline returns to her hometown of Grace, Arizona, she must confront all these things while taking care of an ailing father, worrying about her sister in the fields of Nicaragua, and dealing with the deterioration of the town's river. She is conflicted with who she is and where she is going; she repeatedly reminds her new lover she is not going to stay yet has no idea why. While Codi searches for something to look for, she unearths a town with many secrets and many stories. Like Codi, the reader learns about the powers of culture and history; of politics and environmentalism; and of family and love. Kingsolver's ability to catch colors, emotions, and life makes for a very engaging, beautifully-written book.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By B. Emory on December 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is Kingsolver's second novel and its as good as Bean Trees. Also set in the southwest (this time Grace, Arizona), Animal Dreams revolves around Codi Noline who returns to her hometown to care for her father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She is content with being alone because throughout her life she has consistently felt let down- first by the lack of attention by her father, by her failure to become a doctor, and lastly her pathetic personal life. Returning home though brings back her past which she has blocked many memories of, and the resurgence of an ex lover who wants to make amends by loving her right. While at home, Codi faces a lot of unanswered questions including the death of her mother, the disappearance of her sister, and the reasons behind her father's disguising (or simply ignoring the truths). Her father, a once non-emotional, inflexible family doctor must also try and remain the composure he has always held, yet his thoughts and mind race and spill out opening secrets that Codi has always wanted to find out.
What makes this book exceptional is that Kingsolver writes honestly, and doesnt have flowery descriptions or paints her characters as immoral or saintly. They are vulnerable, likeable, and faulty. She builds her characters to become stronger, and considers miscommunication a cancer which if not taken care of will spread and cause trouble for years. Kingsolver also has a way of writing about the southwest that makes it come alive. Codi's heritage is American Indian as well as her lover's, and we learn more about their teachings, practices, traditions, and spiritual beliefs. Kingsolver paints a good description of the importance the American Indian way of life.
If this book appeals to you, then Bean Trees may also be a good choice for your second novel. Kingsolver will not disappoint you, she is an excellent and realistic writer.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
I teach Animal Dreams every year to 11th grade English students. The most amazing thing about the book is the amount of emotional power that the characters communicate to the reader. I literally feel like I've been punched in the stomach somewhere in almost every chapter. Kingsolver conveys these emotions to me, but more exciting is that my 16 and 17 year old students feel the same way. She is able to provoke these feelings in an avid reader and in inexperienced readers as well. Kingsolver presents an idea or situation in an almost casual way and then when it returns it is packed with so much spiritual and emotional import that it literally makes you feel that the wind is knocked out of you. Without telling details and spoiling the book I will just say that Animal Dreams is the best novel that I have come across for teaching students about finding their life's purpose, mending past pain, and the importance of a sense of home and community. I love it!
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