Flight Behavior

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Flight Behavior

Format:  Hardcover,

436 pages

Publisher: Harpercollins

Publish Date: Nov 2012

ISBN-13: 9780062124265

ISBN-10: 0062124269

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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.

Specifications

Publisher: Harpercollins
Publish Date: Nov 2012
ISBN-13: 9780062124265
ISBN-10: 0062124269
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 436
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.58
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.25

About the author

Biography of Kingsolver, Barbara

Barbara Kingsolver was born on April 8, 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland and grew up in Eastern Kentucky. As a child, Kingsolver used to beg her mother to tell her bedtime stories. She soon started to write stories and essays of her own, and at the age of nine, she began to keep a journal. After graduating with a degree in biology form De Pauw University in Indiana in 1977, Kingsolver pursued graduate studies in biology and ecology at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

She earned her Master of Science degree in the early 1980's. A position as a science writer for the University of Arizona soon led Kingsolver into feature writing for journals and newspapers. Her articles have appeared in a number of publications, including The Nation, The New York Times, and Smithsonian magazines. In 1985, she married a chemist, becoming pregnant the following year. During her pregnancy, Kingsolver suffered from insomnia. To ease her boredom when she couldn't sleep, she began writing fiction Barbara Kingsolver's first fiction novel, The Bean Trees, published in 1988, is about a young woman who leaves rural Kentucky and finds herself living in urban Tucson.

Since then, Kingsolver has written other novels, including Holding the Line, Homeland, and Pigs in Heaven. In 1995, after the publication of her essay collection High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never, Kingsolver was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from her alma mater, De Pauw University. Her latest works include The Lacuna and Flight Behavior. Barbara's nonfiction book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was written with her family.

This is the true story of the family's adventures as they move to a farm in rural Virginia and vow to eat locally for one year. They grow their own vegetables, raise their own poultry and buy the rest of their food directly from farmers markets and other local sources.

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2013-03-15)

As Kingsolver states in the afterword to this book, one of the most special moments in her life was being declared a scientist, a title that she bestows on young Preston, the son of Dellaroba Turnbow, in her newest novel. The discovery of what Dellaroba describes as a lake of fire in the forest behind her Appalachian farmhouse turns out to be a mysterious sea of monarch butterflies. Kingsolver has discussed ecological concerns in previous works and here presents a startling and plausible fictive backdrop to discuss the affects of climate change on these insects. She balances the fictional and scientific characters with her usual skill and performs the audio version with a true feel for the characters and their sense of the butterflies.

Verdict: Highly recommended as a timely and informative book on a significant current issue.

- Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo

(c). Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal (2012-08-01)

Dellarobia Turnbow is in a perpetual state of fight or flight. Married at 17 to kind, dull Cub, she finds even the satisfaction of motherhood small consolation for the stultifying existence on her in-laws' struggling Tennessee sheep farm. When a fluke of nature upends the monotony of her life, Dellarobia morphs into the church's poster child for a miracle, an Internet phenomenon, and a woman on the verge of unexpected opportunity as scientists, reporters, and ecotourists converge on the Turnbow property.

Orange Prize winner Kingsolver (The Lacuna) performs literary magic, generously illuminating both sides of the culture wars, from the global-warming debate to public eduction in America. It's a joy to watch Dellarobia and her precocious son, Preston, blossom under the tutelage of entomologist Ovid Byron. V-ERDICT Like E.O. Wilson in his novel Anthill, Kingsolver draws upon her prodigious knowledge of the natural world to enlighten readers about the intricacies of the migration patterns of monarch butterflies while linking their behavior to the even more fascinating conduct of the human species. Highly recommended.

[See Prepub Alert, 5/4/12.] - Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Myers, FL

(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

New York Times Notable Book

Washington Post

Best Book Of The Year

Amazon's Top 100: Editor's Choice

Usa Today Best Book Of The Year

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 seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man.

She hikes up a mountain road behind her house toward a secret tryst, but instead 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.

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