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Best of the National Book Festival: Barbara Kingsolver, 2019

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Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Each weekday, we will feature a video presentation from among the thousands of authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival and as part of our new year-long series, National Book Festival Presents. Mondays will feature topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literary fiction; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir; Thursday: popular fiction; and Friday: authors who write for children and teens. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection!

Our series continues today with novelist Barbara Kingsolver, who appeared on the Fiction stage at the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival in  D.C. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden introduces Kingsolver, who is then interviewed by NPR’s Mandalit del Barco (1:26).

In 2000, Barbara Kingsolver received the National Humanities Medal, the country’s highest honor for service through the arts. Prior to her writing career, Kingsolver studied and worked as a biologist. Born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in rural Kentucky, she lived with her parents in the Congo during her early years. “The Poisonwood Bible,” one of her best-known books, is the story of a missionary family in the Congo. “Unsheltered” is her most recent novel.

Questions begin at 34:30.


  1. Thank you, this was simply wonderful. Yes, I have read “Unsheltered” and several other books by Barbara Kingsolver.

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