A keen observer of politics and contemporary culture, Kingsolver tackles the uncertainty of the present with her latest novel, Unsheltered.
The book follows the modern-day story of Willa Knox, a middle-aged woman racked by career and family crises, with nothing to show for her life’s work and dedication except unpaid bills and a dilapidated house in Vineland, New Jersey.
But when Willa delves into the history of her home and her community, she discovers a kindred spirit from the 1880s: Thatcher Greenwood, science teacher and fervent advocate of the work of Charles Darwin, who encounters resistance in the small town of Vineland as it becomes clear that influential locals have no desire for a new world order.
A testament to both the resilience and persistent myopia of the human condition, Unsheltered
explores the foundations we build in life, spanning time and place, to give us all a clearer look at those around us and perhaps ourselves. A work that explores the theme of inheritance – whether social, economic or ecological – it recalls George Eliot in its blend of warmth and wisdom, fearlessness and political acuity: a novel that speaks truly to our times.
Kingsolver’s previous fourteen works of non-fiction and fiction, including The Poisonwood Bible
, have been translated into dozens of languages and earned a devoted readership. She won the Orange Prize for The Lacuna
and her novel Flight Behaviour
was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
In 2000, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal, the United States’ highest honour for service through the arts. 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.