9 responses to “6 writing lessons from Barbara Kingsolver”

  1. Lee J Tyler

    Barbara Kingsolver has always mesmerized me. Her intellect and social consciousness have always loomed large. She would laugh if I referred to her as a National Treasure. But so be it. She is. And she is so right about the divorce of fiction and social conscience. It’s like most literary fiction authors are afraid to be blacklisted still. How can that have a hold over our conscience so much? And yet the work of artists in South America is infused with social conscience. Did we export it? Portland is very lucky to have Ms. Kingsolver speak there. We should all count ourselves lucky she is here to jar our own numbed insights. Looking forward to reading this new work!

  2. Alexandra Grabbe

    “Mesmerized” is the perfect word to describe the audience in Cambridge last week, too. I went with my daughter. The invitation to speak was from Harvard Bookstore, so unfortunately the conversation was not as much about writing as I would have liked, because many of the questions from the audience were about science. Ms. Kingsolver did read to us and also emphasized the importance of the first sentence. That it must promise something that is provided by the end of the book. She said she rewrote her first sentences many, many times.

  3. anne

    Great post.
    I remember seeing ballet dancers after their classes, with the beat-up feet. So true.
    Thanks, Michelle!

  4. Van Waffle

    I wish I could have been there. I have read Animal Vegetable Miracle and The Lacuna over the past year and just love Kingsolver’s writing. I think the part I need to take most to heart here is #5. I suppose writing a novel is a long solitary journey; the sharing comes later. Thanks for posting this, Michelle. I can’t wait to read her newest work, because it is a theme I feel strongly.

  5. Diane Faulkner

    “Lean heavily on the Delete key.” Love it! Quite possibly my favorite key, and I promote its beneficial — and sometimes soul-saving — use as often as possible.

    Nice piece!