Barbara Kingsolver is clearly one of America's and Appalachia's very most popular and critically acclaimed contemporary authors. Among her many honors is the United Kingdom's Orange Prize in fiction for the outstanding book, world-wide, in the English language!. Kingsolver grew up in Carlisle, Kentucky, where her father was the town doctor. The multi-talented Kingsolver attended DePauw Uiversity on a music scholarship, but ended up majoring in biology. After earning a masters in ecology at the University of Arizona, she became first a science writer and then a novelist. At a speaking engagement at little Emory & Henry College in Southwest Virginia, she met her current husband, a professor there, and she still lives nearby. The title of this novel, Prodigal Summer, recognizes that the book takes place one summer in the luxuriant Appalachian mountains in a fecund environment appropriate for an extravagant and passionate, though not entirely rational, romance between a young environmentalist and a local working class man.
New York: HarperCollins, 2000. Hardback in dust jacket.