In Barbara Kingsolver’s Words

Good Morning,

Thank you for visiting my site on this Small Business Saturday when you could be shopping.

This morning I read a discussion between Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible, and Richard Powers, author of The Overstory. The Poisonwood Bible, one of Oprah’s novels is on my list of favorite books ever. I’m asking for The Overstory for Christmas because according to the article I read, trees are the protagonist of the book told from the points of view of eight intersecting characters. Intriguing? I thought so.

In my pile of rejected books, I have a novel told from multiple viewpoints that critics say doesn’t work. I’m hoping Richard Powers’ book will give me some insight. Could The Overstory give me ideas for making my book work? Hopefully, it will give me perception as I revise.  

Back to the discussion. Miss Kingsolver said, “As novelists we’re looking for the universal that makes a reader understand that a human person is a human person regardless of where and when and how.” Wow! She put into words exactly what I was trying to say in Backpack Blues: Inspire the Fire Within. It is my hope that my teenage readers will understand that young people are humans regardless of where and when and how. Wouldn’t it be great if we all understood this universal truth?

Miss Kingsolver goes on to say writers are in the empathy business. “The first challenge is “to get a reader to just forget themselves and be there in another body, another time, another set of worries.”

Do you agree with her? Does a good book give you the ability to understand and share the feelings of another? if my books help you to empathize with others while reading a good story, I will have accomplished my goal.