Barbara Kingsolver at the Southbank Centre

Barbara Kingsolver at the Southbank Centre

12th November 2018

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Award-winning author and incisive cultural commentator Barbara Kingsolver discusses her much-anticipated new novel Unsheltered and more in this talk.

A keen observer of politics and contemporary culture, Kingsolver tackles the uncertainty of the present with her latest novel, Unsheltered.

The book follows the modern-day story of Willa Knox, a middle-aged woman racked by career and family crises, with nothing to show for her life’s work and dedication except unpaid bills and a dilapidated house in Vineland, New Jersey.

But when Willa delves into the history of her home and her community, she discovers a kindred spirit from the 1880s: Thatcher Greenwood, science teacher and fervent advocate of the work of Charles Darwin, who encounters resistance in the small town of Vineland as it becomes clear that influential locals have no desire for a new world order.

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. A work that explores the theme of inheritance – whether social, economic or ecological – it recalls George Eliot in its blend of warmth and wisdom, fearlessness and political acuity: a novel that speaks truly to our times.