Thursday, November 29, 2012

Barbara Kingsolver - Kentuckian

A few nights ago,  my friend Lindy and I went to our local Joseph-Beth Booksellers to hear Barbara Kingsolver speak about her latest book,  Flight Behavior.  I've only read the first two chapters (there wasn't much reading time over the Thanksgiving holiday),  but I can already recommend it.  The characters are so well developed and they seem like people I might possibly know (or at least know of).

She was everything I could have hoped for in someone who is famous and from Kentucky. (Sometimes I get a bit of a complex when I see how Kentucky is most often represented on screen and in print.)  She grew up not far from here and, though she now lives in southwestern Virginia,  seems proud to claim her Kentucky roots.  After reading several selections from the book and taking questions from the audience,  she settled down behind a table and began autographing books for the huge crowd of people who had shown up to see her.  I already owned the book (and all of her other books) but I bought another copy,  as it was the required admission to see her.  As I waited in line to have my book signed,  I was struck by how gracious she was with everyone.  She didn't seem to be in a hurry and took the time to speak with everyone.  When it was my turn,  I asked the question I had wanted to ask during the question and answer part of the evening,  but had deemed a little too off-topic for nearly everyone else in the audience.  I asked her about her sheep.  I'd read somewhere (finally remembered it was in an interview in the latest issue of Vogue Knitting) that she had sheep on her farm in Virginia now and I was curious to know if she was really a "fiber" person.  Barbara Kingsolver raises Icelandic sheep.  She told me that she's not really into hand-spinning,  but loves to knit and is very interested in yarn design.  It was a lovely (short) conversation and I would liked to have been in a situation where I could pull up a chair and have a nice long chat about sheep and fiber and yarn.  Alas,  though she seemed in no hurry at all,  I began to feel guilty about all the people in line behind me,  so after giving her the name of Echoview Fiber Mill (they processed my fiber into yarn this year),  I walked away so happy to have had the opportunity to chat with her.

Don't you just love when someone you've admired from a distance turns out to be even nicer than you could imagine? 


  1. Yay, I love that you were able to walk away with that feeling. It is so often not the case.

    Thanks for the link. I was hoping to send my fiber to Fluery Sheep & Wool again this year, but it doesn't look like they exist anymore.

    I'm going to have to pay you a visit sometime this winter while I am down there on a research trip. I believe my book is set in your neck of the woods.

  2. I am glad that you and Lindy had a nice time. I really haven't read anything by her but I have canned the heck out of her marinara sauce recipe and just had some yesterday at lunch.

  3. Barbara Kingsolver! Lucky you. How nice not to be disappointed. I'm on my way to the bookstore.