Posted in Book Stuff

*Barbara Kingsolver

And another writer taking a good long time to write a good book: nine years between Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer and The Lacuna.

About research, she says:

The research was daunting: It felt, in the beginning, that I was undertaking to move a mountain with a teaspoon…[T]he lion’s share of the work happened here in my study. I sat and read for years. Everything written by Trotsky, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo, and everything written about them. Thousands of newspaper and magazine articles documenting everyday life in the U.S. during World War II, and then the postwar freeze-up. Old photo collections…But I loved the surprises. For example, I learned that contrary to popular belief, the continental U.S. was attacked during WWII. The New York Times ran photos of the aftermath. The Japanese sent a submarine up the Columbia River and deployed a floatplane bomber, with the goal of setting the Oregon forests on fire and throwing the country into a panic. But the plan was rained out.

Full interview at Goodreads here.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

8 thoughts on “*Barbara Kingsolver

  1. I’ve been meaning to read Prodigal Summer for the longest time (possibly as long as it’s taken Kingsolver to write another). But it’s unarguable that quality writing takes time to produce.

  2. I’ve got Prodigal Summer waiting on my shelf, I believe I have read everything else Kingsolver has written. I like her work, I enjoy her novels and I think she is one it is worth reading from start to finish as her writing has really developed over time.

    The story about the submarine up the Columbia River has been a favorite of mine since I was a child growing up in Oregon. Of course the actual fact is scary but the reality that the plan was thwarted by too much rain is something only an Oregonian can appreciate.

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