Monday, March 17, 2014

Treasures from the Archive: Barbara Kingsolver

Major American novelist Barbara Kingsolver visited the Writers Institute in the spring of 1992, and was also interviewed by the late Tom Smith, Institute Director, for the WAMC Book Show, April 16, 1992.

Here's an excerpt from that interview:
Kingsolver: People also have asked the question if I write women’s books or to put it in the way a student asked me, “Is The Bean Trees a chick book?” I guess it is because most of the characters seem to be women but the thing is I’ve read so many white guy books in my life and it had never even occurred to me that those people in the books were white men. Lawrence of Arabia, the film, comes to my mind. I remember after I saw the film, a friend said, “Did you notice that there were no women in that movie?” We get accustomed to what literature is and literature is about a man and a great white whale. But it seems to me that what happened between two women in a kitchen can be just as interesting and just as heroic in its way as what happens between a man and a great white whale. It just happens that I know much more about what happens between two women in a kitchen than I do about whales. I think I’m on safer territory writing about the people I know.
Picture:  Kingsolver posing with locally grown leeks and asparagus in the San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 2, 2008, in an article on the locavore movement.