The international bestselling author of The Lacuna, Flight Behaviour and The Poisonwood Bible and recipient of numerous literary awards - including the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Orange Prize - returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval.
Meet Willa Knox, a woman who stands braced against the vicissitudes of her shattered life and family - and the crumbling house that contains her.
Thatcher Greenwood, the new science teacher, is a fervent advocate of the work of Charles Darwin, and he is keen to communicate his ideas to his students. But those in power in Thatcher's small town have no desire for a new world order. Thatcher and his teachings are not welcome.
Both Willa and Thatcher resist the prevailing logic. Both are asked to pay a high price for their courage.
Brilliantly executed and compulsively readable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts. In this mesmerising story told in alternating chapters, Willa and Thatcher come to realise that though the future is uncertain, even unnerving, shelter can be found in the bonds of kindred spirits - whether family or friends - and in the strength of the human spirit.
A testament to both the resilience and persistent myopia of the human condition, Unsheltered explores the foundations we build in life, spanning time and place to give us all a clearer look at those around us, and perhaps ourselves. A work that explores the theme of inheritance - whether social, economic or ecological - it recalls George Eliot in its blend of warmth and wisdom, fearlessness and political acuity: a novel that speaks truly to our times.
‘Kingsolver’s meticulously observed, elegantly structured novel unites social commentary with gripping storytelling … Containing both a rich story and a provocative depiction of times that shake the shelter of familiar beliefs, this novel shows Kingsolver at the top of her game.’ - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
‘As always, Kingsolver gives readers plenty to think about. Her warm humanism coupled with an unabashed point of view make her a fine 21st-century exponent of the honourable tradition of politically engaged fiction.’ - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
‘Exceptionally involving and rewarding…There is much to delight in and think about while revelling in Kingsolver’s vital characters, quicksilver dialogue, intimate moments, dramatic showdowns, and lushly realized milieus … An enveloping, tender, witty, and awakening novel of love and trauma, family and survival, moral dilemmas and intellectual challenges…’ - Booklist (starred review)
Barbara Kingsolver is one of the most important voices of our time. Barbara Kingsolver’s previous fourteen works of fiction and non-fiction have been translated into dozens of languages and earned a devoted readership. She won the Orange Prize in 2010 for The Lacuna and her novel Flight Behaviour was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. In 2000 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal, her country's highest honour for service through the arts. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She now lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.
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