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Flight Behavior
Cover of Flight Behavior
Flight Behavior
A Novel
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"Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."—TimeThe extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer...
"Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."—TimeThe extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer...
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Description-

  • "Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."
    —Time

    The extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver returns with a truly stunning and unforgettable work. Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver's must thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.

 

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About the Author-

  • Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver's work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 25, 2013
    Dellarobia Turnbow is an Appalachian farm wife trapped in a loveless marriage. Her life changes when, inexplicably, thousands of orange monarch butterflies descend on the family’s woodland. Some townspeople see it as a sign from God; others take advantage of the phenomenon to make money when it becomes a tourist attraction. But the arrival of a butterfly scientist opens Dellarobia’s eyes to the frightening implications of climate change—and, at the same time, gives her the courage to escape the confines of her own life. Kingsolver proves an excellent reader of her own work, perfectly conveying both Dellarobia’s gossipy, accented smalltown neighbors and the distinctive Jamaican accent of intellectual Ovid, the butterfly scientist. Perhaps most impressive is her narration of Ovid’s explanations of the phenomenon: descriptions of monarch butterfly migration patterns and the impact of climate change could have been dry, but Kingsolver’s voice is full of the character’s passion, which keeps listeners engaged. The author also ably conveys Dellarobia’s yearnings and her struggle to deal with the conflict between her home life and her dreams. This is a beautifully realized audio version of a compelling and fascinating novel. A Harper hardcover.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 23, 2012
    With her powerful new novel, Kingsolver (The Lacuna) delivers literary fiction that conveys an urgent social message. Set in a rural Tennessee that has endured unseasonal rain, the plot explores the effects of a bizarre biological event on a Bible Belt community. The sight that young wife and mother Dellarobia Turnbow comes upon—millions of monarch butterflies glowing like a “lake of fire” in a sheep pasture owned by her in-laws—is immediately branded a miracle, and promises a lucrative tourist season for the financially beleaguered Turnbows. But the arrival of a research team led by sexy scientist Ovid Byron reveals the troubling truth behind the butterflies’ presence: they’ve been driven by pollution from their usual Mexican winter grounds and now face extinction due to northern hemisphere temperatures. Equally threatening is the fact that her father-in-law, Bear, has sold the land to loggers. Already restless in her marriage to the passive Cub, for whom she gave up college when she became pregnant at 17, unsophisticated, cigarette-addicted Dellarobia takes a mammoth leap when she starts working with the research team. As her horizons expand, she faces a choice between the status quo and, perhaps, personal fulfillment. Spunky Dellarobia is immensely appealing; the caustic view she holds of her husband, in-laws, and neighbors, the self-deprecating repartee she has with her best friend Dovey, and her views about the tedium of motherhood combined with a loving but clear-eyed appraisal of her own children invest the narrative with authenticity and sparkling humor. Kingsolver also animates and never judges the uneducated, superstitious, religiously devout residents of Feathertown. As Dellarobia flees into a belated coming-of-age, which becomes the ironic outcome of the Monarchs’ flight path to possible catastrophe in the collapse of a continental ecosystem, the dramatic saga becomes a clarion call about climate change, too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore. 8-city author tour. One-day laydown. Agent: Frances Goldin, Goldin Literary Agency

  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2012

    Always beloved, Kingsolver shot into the heavens with her last novel, The Lacuna, a booming best seller that also won the Orange Prize. Said to be her most accessible (but when wasn't she ever thus?), her new work features Dellarobia Turnbow, who dreamed of something bigger than Feathertown, TN, but married young and is now stuck raising kids on a hardscrabble farm. On the way to a rendezvous--her first break with life as it is--Dellarobia comes upon a forested glen filled with silent red fire. Fundamentalists, climate scientists, politicians, and the media mob all come to weigh in fervently on the cause and meaning of this phenomenon, as Dellarobia and her neighbors fend off the invasion. With a 500,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist, Starred Review "Drawing on both her Appalachian roots and her background in biology, Kingsolver delivers a passionate novel on the effects of global warming."
  • Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "With her powerful new novel, Kingsolver delivers literary fiction that conveys an urgent social message... a clarion call about climate change, too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore."
  • Oprah.com "...Enthralling...Dellarobia is appealingly complex as a smart, curious, warmhearted woman desperate to-no resisting the metaphor here-trade her cocoon for wings."
  • Elle "A dazzling page-turner"
  • Ron Charles, Washington Post "Kingsolver has written one of the more thoughtful novels about the scientific, financial and psychological intricacies of climate change. And her ability to put these silent, breathtakingly beautiful butterflies at the center of this calamitous and noisy debate is nothing short of brilliant."
  • Entertainment Weekly "Dellarobia is a smart, fierce, messy woman, and one can't help rooting for her to find her wings."
  • O, the Oprah Magazine "Dellarobia is appealingly complex as a smart, curious, warmhearted woman desperate to-no resisting the metaphor here-trade her cocoon for wings."
  • New York Times Book Review "One of the gifts of a Kingsolver novel is the resplendence of her prose. She takes palpable pleasure in the craft of writing, creating images that stay with the reader long after her story is done...(a) majestic and brave new novel."
  • Seattle Times "Kingsolver has constructed a deeply affecting microcosm of a phenomenon that is manifesting in many different tragic ways, in communities and ecosystems all around the globe. This is a fine and complex novel."
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune "So captivating is this grand, suspenseful plot and the many subplots rising and falling beneath it that it takes some time before we realize what this story is really about — climate change."
  • People "Spirituality, a troubled marriage, global warming...Kingsolver's latest is a bold mélange, but it works."
  • NPR "Kingsolver is a storyteller first and foremost, as sensitive to human interactions and family dynamics as she is to ecological ones."
  • BookPage "a delicate symbiosis between the sacred and the scientific in this richly rewarding novel that will both entertain and incite its readers."
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer "FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is a book worth reading twice? first for the intricacies of character, second for the dense, beautiful language Kingsolver puts on the page. She's a keen observer of the messiness and unexpected beauty of the quotidian."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "By the end of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR, it's clear that Kingsolver's passionate voice and her ability to portray the fragility of the natural world, and why we should care about it, are as strong as ever."
  • Julia Ingalls, Salon "Novelists like Kingsolver have a particular knack for making us empathize with lives that may bear little resemblance to our own...What lifts FLIGHT BEHAVIOR...is not just Kingsolver's nuanced and funny prose; it's Dellarobia's awakening to the possibilities around her."
  • USA Today "FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is a terrifically entertaining read about a spirited young woman you'll miss the minute you reach the last page."
  • New York Times "Marvelous...This is fiction rich in empathy, wit and science. Like the butterflies that astonish Feathertown, Kingsolvian gifts are 'fierce and wondrous,' 'colors moving around like fire.'"
  • The New Yorker "[Kingsolver's] keen grasp of delicate ecosystems-both social and natural-keeps the story convincing and compelling."

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