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The Sun Interview

Words Of Honor

An Interview With Barbara Kingsolver

Kingsolver: It’s so hard for us to value our work if it’s not economically valued. That’s the story of women’s lives throughout history. Everything we do in our homes or anything we don’t get paid for isn’t considered valid work. I think it would have been awfully hard for me to justify my writing if I hadn’t been validated with a big check. With out that payment, I couldn’t have justified putting my daughter in someone else’s care and acting like a writer, which you have to do in order to get any writing done. My heart goes out to all women who are taking care of kids and writing in the margins of their lives.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Sudan Journal

I live in Wad el Hileau, an Eritrean refugee camp two hundred miles due east of Khartoum, the capital of this God-forsaken country. I know that when I go back home after completing my work here, the insidious haze of nostalgia will steal in. I will remember the nomadic women in silver-studded black veils, the mournful cry of the muezzin calling the people to prayer before first light, the faithful laying out their mats and bowing toward Mecca, the shimmering mirages and dust devils dotting the unbroken horizon, and the camel herds silhouetted against the setting sun.

Sally Mann’s Beautiful And Treacherous World

Only dead photographers receive the kind of attention Sally Mann’s been getting. When her exhibit of photographs, Immediate Family, opened at New York’s Houk-Friedman Gallery last year, Mann received reviews in the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. Last September the New York Times Magazine featured an article about her life and family, “The Disturbing Photographs Of Sally Mann,” and one of her photographs appeared on its cover. She’s even been hired by Mamiya to pitch their equipment in full-page ads.



My great-grandmother belonged to the Bird Clan. Hers was one of the fugitive bands of Cherokee who resisted capture in the year that General Winfield Scott was in charge of prodding the forest people from their beds and removing them westward. Those few who escaped his notice moved like wildcat families through the Carolina mountains, leaving the ferns unbroken where they passed, eating wild grapes and chestnuts, drinking when they found streams. The ones who could not travel, the aged and the infirm and the very young, were hidden in deep cane thickets where they would remain undiscovered until they were bones. When the people’s hearts could not bear any more, they laid their deerskin packs on the ground and settled again.


Sally’s grandmother knitted her a scarf,” I informed my parents at Sabbath dinner, the week after I started kindergarten. My mother passed me the roast chicken. My father was already eating. “Why don’t I have a grandmother?”


They made an attractive couple, wearing black, smoking marijuana, dropping out of college to go south and join the civil rights movement.

Readers Write

Staying Together

The day we got married I went home and cried for six straight hours while my husband browsed used-book stores in San Francisco. I was sure I had just made the biggest mistake of my life. I was a gypsy witch who loved poetry. He hunted wild pigs, read bullet manuals, and drove a three-quarter-ton pickup with a Frank Zappa For President bumper sticker.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Sy Safransky's Notebook

June 1993

“If the body’s symptoms are metaphoric, what do the planet’s symptoms tell us? If the rain forests are the lungs, unable to breathe for us? If the ozone layer is our delicate skin? And what of global warming? Our unbridled desire is a fever. Instead of nuclear holocaust, we get to roast on a spit.

Musings From Our Founder ▸


Millions and millions of years would still not give me half enough time to describe that tiny instant of eternity when you put your arms around me and I put my arms around you.

Jacques Prévert

More Quotations ▸
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