Small Wonder
by Barbara Kingsolver


HarperCollins, 2002. ISBN 0060504072.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 12/12/2002

Nonfiction: Life Lessons

Barbara Kingsolver
somewhere outside of Tucson
   or
somewhere in Appalachia

Dear Barbara,

Thank you. Keep writing! Although this one is not for sissies.

I feel that I can call you Barbara, because I have read most of your books, and, also, knowing you from your books, you would look over your shoulder if I adddressed you as Ms. Kingsolver.

This book of essays predicated by events on September 11, 2001, is an outlet for so many of your passions for peace, humanity, justice, children, simplicity, your mother, nature, gardens and hummingbirds, to name a few. So many of them are also my passions, but it is a hard read. Then, so is living in the United States right now with the air filled with fear, anger and hate. As you write, "All of the promises of politicians, generals, madmen and crusaders that war can create peace have yet to be borne out."

You keep reasuring me and others throughout this book that there are small wonders and there is hope.

Your description of the miracle of a hummingbird building her nest outside your window made me gasp with awe. Such a sharing! And the reminder about the importance of diversity which follows sets down the dangers of the genetic engineering of foods so clearly.

"What Good is a Story?" had me marking passage after passage. You describe how I feel about your own fiction:

"I love fiction, strangely enough, for how true it is. If it can tell me someething I didn't already know, or maybe suspected but never framed quite that way, or never before had sock me so divinely in the solar plexus, that was a story worth the read."
and
"The business of fiction is to probe the tender spots of an imperfect world, which is where I live, write, and read."
I thank you for your writing, and I'm looking forward to your next book. Thank you, also, for donating the proceeds from "Small Wonder" to organizations helping to create hope and life in this imperfect world.

Hugs, Judith

(See another review of this book, here)

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