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The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge, June 10, 2008
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About the Author
Barbara Kingsolver’s books of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction are widely translated and have won numerous literary awards. She is the founder of the PEN/Bellwether Prize, and in 2000 was awarded the National Humanities Medal, the country’s highest honor for service through the arts. Prior to her writing career she studied and worked as a biologist. She lives with her husband on a farm in southern Appalachia.
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I would like to site some of my favorite passages.
I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence.
Mama says their skin bears scars different from ours because their skin is a map of all the sorrows in their lives.
I pictured hands like those digging diamonds out of the Congo dirt and go to thinking, Gee, does Marilyn Monroe even know where they come from? Just picturing her in thr stain gown and a COngolese diamond digger int he same universe gave me the weebie jeebies. So I didn't think about it anymore.
God doesn't need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves.
Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet.
There are a lot of other passages and verbal images that I loved but I can't copy the whole book here. However, there is one last thing I want to say and this is a complaint.
Here is the quote:
A parasite of humans that extinguished us altogether, you see, would quickly be laid to rest in human graves, So the race between predator and prey remains exquisitely neck and neck.
As always, it is impossible for people to understand evolution. This passage was supposed to have been said by a researcher at the CDC. It fails to understand that evolution is not forward looking. It is highly likely that this scenario has played out over the millennium for species that no longer exist. In fact, the Tasmanian devil is currently facing extinction from a viral form of cancer that fits this description. This kind of thing is more likely in small populations where genetic diversity is limited. Probably the human race has little to fear on this account.
An added benefit is that I thought the story was over, only to discover I was in fact only 60% done. (My Kindle tricks me when there are "book club" sections in the book - which I thought this one had, but didn't) Luckily, I enjoyed the "second half" of the story even more than the first.
I highlighted too many passages to count, but here are just a few that best captured the characters:
"My father thinks the Congo is just lagging behind and he can help bring it up to snuff. Which is crazy. It's like he's trying to put rubber tires on a horse."
" I had washed up there on the riptide of my husband's confidence and the undertow of my children's needs."
"Hunger of the body is altogether different from the shallow, daily hunger of the belly. Those who have known this kind of hunger cannot entirely love, ever again, those who have not."