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2014 Longlist

Flight Behaviour

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman’s narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel’s inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world, in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.

Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.

 

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Barbara
Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver is the global prize-winning and bestselling author of novels including Unsheltered, Flight Behaviour, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible and Demon Copperhead, as well as books of poetry, essays and creative non-fiction. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction and is the first author to win the Women’s Prize twice. Barbara lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia. Photo Credit: Evan Kafka

Barbara Kingsolver is the global prize-winning and bestselling author of novels including Unsheltered, Flight Behaviour, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible and Demon Copperhead, as well as books of poetry, essays and creative non-fiction. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction and is the first author to win the Women’s Prize twice. Barbara lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia. Photo Credit: Evan Kafka

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Flight Behaviour is a story about a woman’s discovery she can not explain and how it stimulates the different groups of the community. The work is complex, elliptical and well-observed. Kingsolver makes her message clear.

A novel full of beautiful descriptions of monarch butterflies, Appalachian mountains, and a mother’s fierce devotion to a better life for her children, belying the very real warning about “global weirdness” and its impact on everyday life. Kingsolver takes a world wide issue and breaks it down into easily digestible chunks while stirring the readers’ emotions and sense of environmental responsibility. An important tale without a scolding tone.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
12/05/2013
Country
United States

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