Across eight, clear-eyed novels, Barbara Kingsolver has fused grand and sometimes controversial themes with the gift of a true storyteller. An ecologist and biologist by training, Kingsolver shifted into fiction in 1988 and within a decade produced the masterful The Poisonwood Bible, a novel echoing her own year-long experience of living in the Congo.
Nominated for the Pulitzer and winning numerous awards, every book since seems to draw deeper on our complex relationships with our environment, notably the Appalachia-set Prodigal Summer, published in 2000, and the stunning Flight Behaviour of 2012, a story describing the subtle but real impact of climate change in rural Tennessee. Her novel The Lacuna won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction (now the Women's Prize for Fiction).
A testament to both the resilience and persistent myopia of the human condition, Unsheltered explores the foundations we build in life, spanning time and place to give us all a clearer look at those around us, and perhaps ourselves. It is a novel that speaks truly to our times.