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"Locavore" Barbara Kingsolver '77 and Her New Book Featured in New York Times

April 25, 2007

Barbara Kingsolver Food Life.jpgApril 25, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - "Locavores," described by the New York Times' Marian Burros as "people who are determined to eat only food made within 100 miles, give or take, ... are poised to move into the mainstream. Barbara Kingsolver, the best-selling novelist, has written one of three books out this spring about eating locally," notes today's edition of the newspaper of the 1977 DePauw University graduate.

Burros continues, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (HarperCollins) recounts [Kingsolver's] family's adventures during the year they spent eating food raised in their corner of southwest Virginia. Her book and others are successors to several earlier books including Coming Home to Eat by Gary Paul Nabhan and Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by Jessica Prentice, who coined the word locavore and founded the Web site locavores.com."

Of Kingsolver, the Times states, "The author said that in her attitude toward food she is something between a Puritan Barbara Kingsolver Local 2007.jpg('I'm going to be holy right now') and a toddler ('I want absolutely everything every minute and the idea of not having fresh peaches in January is sort of horrifying'). Each member of her family was allowed one luxury item that came from far away. Her husband chose coffee, her children hot chocolate and dried fruit. Spices were Ms. Kingsolver's indulgence. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle gives no sense of privation or even boredom. Ms. Kingsolver spent a fair amount of time putting foods by when they were in season so that the larder was stocked."

The author of novels including The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, Kingsolver tells the newspaper, "We undertook this project because it brings together so many compelling issues of the moment: carbon footprint, global warming, the local economy, the nutritional crisis and community. Community is very important to me and every book I've ever written is on this subject: what is the debt of the individual to the community?"

She adds, "We wanted to see if we could show that it's possible and even a lot of fun, not just an experiment in sacrifice. It was so much more fun than we expected it to be."

Access the complete story at the Times' Web site.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life is due in bookstores May 1 and has received early praise from reviewers. Read more in this previous article.

A zoology major at DePauw, Barbara Kingsolver received the National Humanities Medal in 2000. Read the author's reflections on her years at DePauw here.

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