Thursday, October 04, 2007

Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

An okay part of Barbara Kingsolver's recent book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, is the author's perspective on the big issues of the day:
"How do you encourage people to keep their hope," Joan asked, "but not their complacency?"
But the more memorable passages are the simpler telling anecdotes.

The Kingsolver family of four left drought-stressed Arizona, where lack of rainfall prevented environmentally sound food choices, for the old family farm in Appalachia, where they could spend 12 months eating and growing local food. The first stop on the road trip was, paradoxically, to buy fuel.

Here is the conversation between the cashier at the gas station food mart and Kingsolver's husband, Steven:
"Dang," she said, it's going to rain."

"I hope so," Steven said.

She turned her scowl from the window to Steven. This bleached-blond guardian of gas pumps and snack food was not amused. "It better not, is all I can say."

"But we need it," I pointed out. I am not one to argue with cashiers, but the desert was dying, and this was my very last minute as a Tucsonan. I hated to jinx it with bad precipitation-karma.

"I know that's what they're saying, but I don't care. Tomorrow's my first day off in two weeks, and I want to wash my car."


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

If you have the book in hand that would be helpful. That is could you find it? Because there is a passage where Barbara talks about how many farmers started growing tomatoes and that there was no market for them locally because the stores switched away from local loyality and bought from california. Your blog doesn't say anything. Are you talking about oil makes food cheap?

please respond.

Parke Wilde said...

Hi. Just out of my mid-semester fog and catching up on overdue correspondence. Thanks for your comments! I can't find the passage this moment, but I do recall the interesting section where the author considers the long-distance sourcing of otherwise-good healthy supermarket retailing. The point of the passage in the post was, I think, just to point out how far most people currently are from being aware of their environmental choices. Cheers, Parke