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High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (September 13, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060172916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060172916
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #680,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Novelist Kingsolver (Pigs in Heaven) is not one to let her miscellany stagnate; she has revised or expanded many of the 25 essays included here, most of which have previously been published, and yes, there are thematic links in her view of family, writing, politics and places. The strongest link is Kingsolver's wise and spirited voice, animated by poetic and precise language. A Kentucky transplant to Arizona, Kingsolver recounts the triumph and pathos of her return home as a novelist; she also delights in recollecting her role in the notorious Rock Bottom Remainders, the band of writers famous for their ABA performances. "Raising children is a patient alchemy," she declares; indeed, her self-imposed exile during the Gulf War led her to Spain's Canary Islands and an atmosphere of much greater affection for kids. Reports from Benin and Hawaii, even her aquarium, show the author to be a curious and sensitive observer. Most telling perhaps are Kingsolver's reflections on her mission: because it aims to convey truths we know but can't feel, "[g]ood art is political, whether it means to be or not." Illustrations. Literary Guild alternate.
-ood art is political, whether it means to be or not." Illustrations. Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA?Displaying a diverse background and multiple interests, Kingsolver has written about subjects as varied as the biological clock of hermit crabs, tourist wanderings in Benin, and visiting an obsolete Titan missile site. The recurring themes here are the wonder and excitement of parenting; the respect for all creatures, religions, and points of view; and the importance of the natural world in our lives. She weaves these themes throughout her essays and presents readers with a vision of beliefs too often undervalued in our modern world. The author, a skilled observer of both people and nature, claims "to want to know and to write, about the places where disparate points of view rub together?the spaces between." These essays are her attempts to open the doors for her readers to see into those spaces.?Penny Stevens, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This is my favourite book of all time.
Barbara Kingsolver's book of essays, High Tide in Tucson, is an interesting and enjoyable read.
Cloggie Downunder
She has quite an extensive vocabulary and a great way of expressing herself.
Joanne Sellner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Linda Alonzo on December 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have only a few pages to go with the book of essays "High Tide in Tucson". It is written by Barbara Kingsolver who wrote a book on Oprah's list called the "Poisonwood Bible". That is still on my list to read. The essays are opinion of the author and she is of a very liberal political bent. (She actually left the country to live in Spain because she disagreed with the Persian Gulf War.I was serving in the military at the time of the Gulf War and honestly agree with many of the points she makes. )
I have really enjoyed this book although I do not agree with her all of her opinons. You can tell she puts much thought into her opinions before she makes them. I enjoy reading others opinions even when they disagree with mine if they really make me think and she does.
I wouldn't have picked up this book on my own, but my girlfriend sent it to me. I enjoy fiction but seldom am interested in essays. I am so glad she did. Ms Kingsolver has really made me examine my opinions on violence against women in the media and I think I will be choosing different movies and books in the future because of her. Having my mind "stretched" was a very positive experience.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on June 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
If my fellow writers, who struggle with the modern essay format, want to read an example of good writing, this would be a great place to start. Barbara Kingsolver, already famous for Beantrees, Pigs in Heaven, etc., lets loose with this collection of 25 essays on issues as diverse as hermit crabs, political activism, and vegetarianism. Her exquisite and thoughtful language persists throughout as, trained as a naturalist, she links minutae in the natural world with the more close-to-home issues of parenting, family, honesty, and her political views. Some of her best writing can be found in this collection.
Top rating.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Dan Barksdale III on June 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Barbara Kingsolver's collection of essays, High Tide In Tucson, is a truly life affirming, touching, true, poetic, real, view of life, nature, the Animal Kingdom, the Plant Kingdom, and community.
If you enjoy the novels of Barbara Kingsolver, you'll enjoy the essays in this collection. Well written, poetic-prose that is truly touching! As in all Kingsolver's books, even if you don't agree with the conclusions she comes to, it's ok. You don't feel preached at, she acknowledges the diversity of life, that we all have different, legitimate, opinions about all things. For example, I personally do not believe that science and biology are infallible, I am a Creationist. Ms. Kingsolver clearly believes in evolution and makes no secret that she believes that evolution is a "scientific fact." That's fine! It doesn't threaten me that we have different, legitimate, beliefs. The point is that we both, as she states, "risk belief." When she describes the glory of nature, the earth, and the Natural World, she gives credit to "Mother Nature," or "Mother Earth," or "Natural Selection," while I give credit to "God, the Creator." This is what life's all about. This is what this collection of essays is about, having an opinion and explaining it thoroughly, and listening to others opinions. It's "high tide" we must live this life we're given for the best, the best we know how, and not let another person's disagreement with us stop us. We must acknowledge and learn about the past, and honor the future as well. So, fill up the atomic bomb silos with concrete to be excavated later, collect shells on the beach, keep a journal, tell lies, honor life and nature and the earth, don't turn away from painful things in this chaotic world, look, acknowledge, help, believe, hope, it's high tide.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Zinta Aistars on April 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Kingsolver holds reign neck and neck with Annie Dillard as two of my favorite naturalist writers and essayists. Kingsolver holds her own as a novelist. In this collection of essays, rewritten and expanded versions, in many cases, from what has been previously published in various magazines, Kingsolver's skill and talent as an essayist shimmers with brilliance and sheer entertainment. Even when she is teaching us a lesson and hammering it home.

Topics have wide range, covering nature, art, values and ethics, human nature and its foibles, politics, and travels. Whether she is pondering the biological clocks of hermit crabs or espousing her views on violence and objectification of women on the silver screen, or taking the reader along on the harsh realities of a not so glamorous book tour, her language is lush and poetic, flowing and vibrant, clever and memorable. I have been quoting her words to anyone who will listen ever since reading the book, and thinking back to it as a kind of measuring stick for my personal observations of daily life.

So what moved you to begin such a boycott of violence in movies? a friend asked me over lunch yesterday. We had been talking about popular contemporary movies, and why I had made sometimes surprising - to others - choices. And it hit me. While my inclination had been moving in that direction for some time now, it was Kingsolver's essay, "Careful What You Let In the Door," that had pushed me into a conscious awareness of how my viewing choices affected every other part of my life, the daily and even seemingly miniscule choices I make. The results of such choices have been almost immediately apparent to me - as was now my choice to steer clear.
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