Barbara Kingsolver draws on her rural Kentucky upbringing in her writing, in which she explores the connections between humans and their environments. Now the author of 14 books, most notably “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and “The Poisonwood Bible,” she uses both fiction and nonfiction to tell stories of human change, and she often draws on her own experiences in her work. In “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” Kingsolver relays an account of her family’s decision to go for a full year only eating food raised in their own southern Appalachian community or grown by themselves. Her eye-opening account raises a lot of questions for readers about the role of food in modern society. For her work, she has been awarded the National Humanities Medal and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

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Robert Koester