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By: Barbara Kingsolver
267 pages, no illustrations
A collection of 23 essays which shows the same sensitivity and thoughtfulness, the same rich knowledge of and love for the natural world, as the author's widely read novels. In Knowing Our Place, she describes the two places in which she writes: a tin-roof cabin in Appalachia and her home in the Tucson desert. In Setting Free the Crabs, she uses her daughter's decision not to take home a beautiful (and occupied) red conch shell from a Mexican beach to illustrate our own need to give up our sense of ownership of the earth, to resist "the hunger to possess all things bright and beautiful." Many of these pieces, like the lovely title essay, were written (or rewritten) in response to the events of September 11, which threw into relief the growing social and economic inequities that are so little remarked on in the American media.
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