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The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible is a novel of overwhelming power and passion set in the heart of the African jungle, from activist and award winning author of Homeland, The Lacuna and Flight Behaviour, Barbara Kingsolver.

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‘Breathtaking.’ Sunday Times
‘Exquisite.’ The Times
‘Beautiful.’ Independent
‘Powerful.’ New York Times

An international bestseller and a modern classic, this suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and their remarkable reconstruction has been read, adored and shared by millions around the world.

This story is told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959.

They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil.

What readers are saying
‘This remains one of the most fascinating books I have ever read.’

‘I felt every emotion under the sky with this book.’


‘This novel left a lasting – YEARS LASTING – impression.’

‘This is one of those booksthat stands the test of time and is worth rereading.’

‘Five epic, no-wonder-this-book-is-so-well-loved stars!’

Critic Reviews

There are few ambitious, successful and beautiful novels. Lucky for us, we have one now, in Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible... This awed reviewer hardly knows where to begin.

Jane Smiley, Washington Post Book World
Critic Reviews

The Poisonwood Bible shows what happens when one of the most talented writers of our generation comes to maturity… [It] ranks with the most ambitious works of postcolonial literature and it should at last establish Kingsolver’s reputation in Europe as one of America’s most gifted novelists.

Independent on Sunday
Critic Reviews

The Poisonwood Bible is a book club classic... The novel begins as a family saga but evolves into a polemic about how African lives are ruined by Western greed and fear... There is humour, history, love and loss. The characterisation is exquisite.

The Times
Critic Reviews

A quantum-leap breakthrough... learned, tragicomic and sprawling.

NY Times
Critic Reviews

Brilliant. Now, that is no sort of measured critical reaction but it is how I feel I must begin – with a one-word shout of praise for this superb epic novel… [Barbara Kingsolver] says she spent thirty years waiting for the wisdom and maturity to dare to write this book. Never has such patience been more rewarded.

Margaret Forster, Literary Review
Critic Reviews

Barbara Kingsolver’s brilliantly realised epic of one family’s journey to the heart of darkness… A richly poetic and often harrowingly beautiful saga that does not falter for a moment.


Barbara Kingsolver’s books of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction are widely translated and have won numerous literary awards, including the Women’s Prize for Fiction, awarded to The Lacuna; Flight Behaviour was also shortlisted. She is the founder of the PEN/Bellwether Prize, and in 2000 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal, her country’s highest honour for service through the arts.…

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