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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle | 2007

Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

"As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain."

"Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . ."

Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

"This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air."

Critics' Praise

"Every bit as transporting as—and more ecologically relevant than—any ‘Year In Provence’-style escapism...Earthy...informative....[and] englightened." 
— WASHINGTON POST

“Charming, zestful, funny and poetic. … The authors … add three powerful voices … to the swelling chorus of concern about the food we grow, buy, and eat.”
— WASHINGTON POST BOOKWORLD

“Cogent and illuminating. … Without sentimentality, this book captures the pulse of the farm and the deep gratification it provides.”
— NEW YORK TIMES

“This book will change your life. Perhaps never before has food been written about so passionately.”
— RICK BASS, BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE

“It’s a lovely book. One wants with all one’s heart to sit with [Kingsolver] on the porch at the end of the day and shell peas.”
— LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Kingsolver, who writes evocatively about our connection to place, does so here with characteristic glowing prose. She provides the rapture, and Steven Hopp, her environmental biologist husband, provides pithy sidebars of facts and figures.”
— MIAMI HERALD

“Homespun, unassuming, informed, positive, inspiring, zealously devoted to home and hearth … often wisecracking humorous. … The winning volume is unstinting in its concerns about this imperiled planet and the impact of extravagant American lifestyles.”
— SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

“Kingsolver has blessed us with a story as small as her Appalachian kitchen and as big as global climate change. … This novelist paints a compelling big picture of twenty-first-century America’s national eating disorder—broad and ambitious, with nary an extraneous stroke.”
— DENVER ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

“Charming memoir and persuasive journalism. … Each season—and chapter—unfolds with a natural rhythm and mouth-watering appeal.”
— MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

“Equal parts folk wisdom and political activism. … This family effort instructs as much as it entertains.”
— ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

“As satisfying and complete as a down-home supper. … Barbara Kingsolver is nothing less than a national treasure.”
— TUCSON CITIZEN