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Small Wonder Paperback – 19 Jun 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New Ed edition (19 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571215777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571215775
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955 and grew up in eastern Kentucky. Her books include poetry, non-fiction and award-winning fiction, and in 1999 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for The Poisonwood Bible (recently voted Britain's favourite reading group book). She lives with her husband and daughter in southern Arizona and in the mountains of southern Appalachia.

Product Description

Review

'Kingsolver's passion and poise win you over. She gets at large issues through personal and botanical details' Ruth Padel, Financial Times

Book Description

Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver is a collection of essays providing, in the voice Kingsolver's readers have come to rely on, a hopeful examination of the people we seem to be, in one of history's darker moments, and what we might yet make of ourselves.

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On a cool October day in the oak-forested hills of Lorestan Province in Iran, a lost child was saved in an inconceivable way. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mrs C A O'Neill on 16 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
Barbara Kingsolver’s latest collection of essays explore topics ranging from genetic engineering, world poverty through to adolescence and motherhood. The heavy subjects I felt were handled with great insight, and the lighter topics were great fun to read. Her inspired writing poses great food for thought. One or two of her essays were written in response to the events of September 11th and so are rather sombre and somewhat moving in tone. She breaks down political issues into plain English and even suggests possible resolutions to some of the worlds economic problems. I found many of the essays spiritually enlighting and very refreshing. Her exuberant philosophy stays with you long after the last page.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Addruse on 4 May 2008
Format: Paperback
On the back of a speculative purchase, I am excited to say that Small Wonder is one of my favourite books and without a doubt, one that I will re-read time and again. I thoroughly enjoyed the insight into Kingsolver's perspective on timeless issues. Her opinions are thought-provoking and have led me to re-assess my own outlook on these global, as well as domestic and local, issues. Although the American and local issues are closer to home to Kingsolver than myself, they can very easily be transposed to any or at least many countries and communities in the world. I look forward to reading more by Kingsolver and would recommend everyone to read Small Wonder for pure enlightenment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an engaging and well-written collection of essays, which range from a response to 9/11, through issues about motherhood, growing up, and the nature of families, to some luminous and inspirational pieces about conservation, genetically modified crops, pesticides, inequality, the world view of the US, and many more. Understandably, given the variety, the quality varies at times, and her 'patriotic' defence against her ultra-right wing critics, is perhaps overdone, especially from a UK standpoint.

Nevertheless, almost throughout, these are impassioned and well structured/argued pieces. For me, the jewels in this collection are where Kingsolver observes nature in action around here, whether it be her rapt description of a hummingbird building its nest outside her kitchen window, or her magical exploration of ancient Mayan ruins amid ancient protected forests in Mexico. She has a talent to make the everyday seem extraordinary, and vice versa, and a similar ability to move from the particular to the universal, so the reader can see the connection of things, and our responsibility as individuals, and as part of a worldwide brotherhood.

The issues she explores, and the causes she promotes, are dealt with in a saddened tone, quite without hectoring, and all the more powerful for it. This book is both a plea to step back from the blind exploitation of the world, and a celebration of its moving and incomparable beauty, and will linger long in the mind. Essential reading for all who care about the planet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver's second book of essays, was written after the events of 9/11, and touches on subjects as diverse as Terrorism, why the world doesn't like America, Genetic Modification, Teenagers, Mothers, and Self-Sustainability. While I may not have agreed with every single word of the essays, on the whole, I found Kingsolver's to be the Voice of Reason. As with her previous book of essays, High Tide in Tucson, there were some aspects that avid readers of Kingsolver's novels would have found reflected there. The essays are interesting and thought-provoking. The essay on Genetic Modification is particularly succinct. I would recommend this book, not just to Kingsolver fans, but to anyone who wants to read a reasonable point of view.
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