Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.
"As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain.
"Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . ."
Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.
"This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air."
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About the Author
Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver's work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.
Camille Kingsolver graduated from Duke University in 2009 and currently works in the mental health field. She is an active advocate for the local-food movement, doing public speaking for young adults of her own generation navigating food choices in a difficult economy. She lives in Asheville, N.C., and grows a vegetable garden in her front yard.
Steven L. Hopp was trained in life sciences and received his PhD from Indiana University. He has published papers in bioacoustics, ornithology, animal behavior and more recently in sustainable agriculture. He is the founder and director of the Meadowview Farmers Guild, a community development project that includes a local foods restaurant and general store that source their products locally. He teaches at Emory & Henry College in the Environmental Studies department. He coauthored Animal, Vegetable, Miracle with Barbara Kingsolver and Camille Kingsolver.
"A lovely book. "--Los Angeles Times
"Kingsolver...adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us...[A] vicarious taste of domesticity."--Christian Science Monitor
"I defy anyone to read this book and walk away from it without gaining at least the desire to change."--Bookreporter.com
"Provocative . . . Kingsolver . . . evokes the sheer joy of producing one's own food."--People
"Lessons learned in sustainability are worth feasting on-and taking to heart."--Self
"ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE makes an important contribution to the chorus of voices calling for change.""--Chicago Tribune
"Kingsolver elegantly chronicles a year of back-to-the-land living...Readers...will take heart and inspiration here."--Kirkus Reviews
"Full...of zest and sometimes ribald humor... Reading this book will make you hungry."--Raleigh News & Observer
"A terrific effort. The delight for readers...is the chance to experience the rediscovery of community through food."--The Oregonian (Portland)
"A profound, graceful, and literary work . . . Timeless. . . . It can change who you are."--Rick Bass, Boston Globe
"Charming...and persuasive...Each season-and chapter-unfolds with a natural rhythm and mouth-watering appeal."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Highly digestible...Engaging."--Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe
"An impassioned, sensual, smart and witty narrative...Kinsolver is a master at leavening a serious message with humor."--St. Petersburg Times
"Kingsolver dresses down the American food complex...These down-on-the-farm sections are inspiring and...compelling."--Outside magazine
"[This] is a book that, without being preachy, makes a solid case for eating locally instead of globally."--Richmond Times-Dispatch
"If you're interested in learning more about healthful eating, you'll want to read...ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE."--Charlotte Observer
"Other notable writers have addressed this topic, but Kingsolver claims it as her own....Self-deprecating instead of self-righteous."--Charlotte Observer
"Loaded with terrific information about everything from growth hormones to farm subsidies."--Entertainment Weekly
"Faithful, funny, and thought-provoking...Readers-whether vegetarian or carnivore-will not go hungry, literally or literarily."--BookPage
"Charming . . . Literary magic . . . If you love the narrative voice of Barbara Kingsolver, you will be thrilled."--Houston Chronicle
"Wry, insightful and inspiring to anyone who yearns to work with the earth."--Chicago Tribune (on the audiobook)
"Every bit as transporting as-and more ecologically relevant than-any "Year In Provence"-style escapism...Earthy...informative....[and] englightened."--Washington Post
"If you...buy...one book this summer, make it this one...As satisfying and complete as a down home supper."--Tucson Citizen
"Kingsolver carries us along in her distinct and breezy prose."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Kingsolver, who writes evocatively about our connection to place, does so here with characteristic glowing prose. She provides the rapture."--Miami Herald
"Equal parts folk wisdom and political activism . . . This family effort instructs as much as it entertains."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Engaging...Absorbing...Lovely food writing...[Kingsolver] succeeds at adopting the warm tone of a confiding friend."--Corby Kummer, New York Times Book Review
"Delectable . . . steeped in elegant prose and seasoned with smart morsels about the food industry."--Chicago Tribune
"Anyone who read and appreciated THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA by Michael Pollan will want to read Barbara Kingsolver's book."--Roanoke Times
"[Written] with passion and hope...This novelist paints a compelling big picture-broad and ambitious, with nary an extraneous stroke."--Rocky Mountain News
"Kingsolver beautifully describes this experience."--More Magazine
"ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE is a chronicle of food feats...I'm inclined to agree with most points Kingsolver makes."--Chicago Sun-Times
"Charming, zestful, funny and poetic...a serious book about important problems."--Washington Post Book World
"[Kingsolver is] a master storyteller, and even those who've heard this tale before will be captivated."--Daily News
"Classy and disarming, substantive and entertaining, earnest and funny....Kingsolver takes the genre to a new literary level."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)