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Memorable quotes by Barbara Kingsolver on life, strength, time, writing and other things

100 Memorable Quotes By Barbara Kingsolver, The Author Of The Poisonwood Bible

Quick Facts

Famous As: Novelist, Poet, Essayist

Born On: April 8, 1955

Born In: Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Barbara Kingsolver is a noted American writer. She attended DePauw University and then the University of Arizona, studying biology at both, before embarking on a career as a freelance writer. After a while, she started to work on becoming a novelist and eventually she found success when her first novel ‘The Bean Trees’, published in 1988. Kingsolver was born in 1955 in Maryland but when she was still only seven year old her family went to Congo and her experiences in the country was the inspiration behind her most famous novel ‘The Poisonwood Bible’. She has also written a widely read non-fiction book titled ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ that described the ways in which her family tried to eat locally. Her work draws heavily from themes such as social justice and human interaction, as well as biodiversity. A large percentage of her books have been on the New York Times Bestsellers List and it is no wonder that she is considered one of America’s top writers. Here are some of the famous quotes from Barbara Kingsolver, which will surely appeal to a curious mind.

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The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.

Barbara Kingsolver

The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.

Barbara Kingsolver

She kept swimming out into life because she hadn't yet found a rock to stand on.

Barbara Kingsolver

Listen. Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember.

Barbara Kingsolver

Everything you're sure is right can be wrong in another place.

Barbara Kingsolver

But kids don't stay with you if you do it right. It's the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won't be needed in the long run.

Barbara Kingsolver

God doesn’t need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves.

Barbara Kingsolver

Listen. To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know. In perfect stillness, frankly, I've only found sorrow.

Barbara Kingsolver

I’ve seen how you can’t learn anything when you’re trying to look like the smartest person in the room.

Barbara Kingsolver

What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness.

Barbara Kingsolver

The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.

Barbara Kingsolver

I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book.

Barbara Kingsolver

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.

Barbara Kingsolver

The power is in the balance: we are our injuries, as much as we are our successes.

Barbara Kingsolver

There is a strange moment in time, after something horrible happens, when you know it's true, but you haven't told anyone yet.

Barbara Kingsolver

A mother's body remembers her babies-the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has it's own entreaties to body and soul.

Barbara Kingsolver

In a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is make things as right as we can.

Barbara Kingsolver

Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.

Barbara Kingsolver

It's what you do that makes your soul.

Barbara Kingsolver

Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.

Barbara Kingsolver

Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It's everyone's, come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet.

Barbara Kingsolver

The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don't know.

Barbara Kingsolver

It is true that I do not speak as well as I can think. But that is true of most people, as nearly as I can tell.

Barbara Kingsolver

If we can't, as artists, improve on real life, we should put down our pencils and go bake bread.

Barbara Kingsolver

The truth needs so little rehearsal.

Barbara Kingsolver

It's frightening when things you love appear suddenly changed from what you have always known.

Barbara Kingsolver

Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.

Barbara Kingsolver

Sugar, it's no parade but you'll get down the street one way or another, so you'd just as well throw your shoulders back and pick up the pace.

Barbara Kingsolver

But I've swallowed my pride before, that's for sure. I'm practically lined with my mistakes on the inside like a bad-wallpapered bathroom.

Barbara Kingsolver

Your dreams, what you hope for and all that, it's not separate from your life. It grows right up out of it.

Barbara Kingsolver

Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side.

Barbara Kingsolver

Humans can be fairly ridiculous animals.

Barbara Kingsolver

Memories do not always soften with time; some grow edges like knives.

Barbara Kingsolver

To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know.

Barbara Kingsolver

How pointless life could be, what a foolish business of inventing things to love, just so you could dread losing them.

Barbara Kingsolver

No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill.

Barbara Kingsolver

Silence has many advantages. When you do not speak, other people presume you to be deaf or feeble-minded and promptly make a show of their own limitations.

Barbara Kingsolver

If you never stepped on anybody's toes, you never been for a walk.

Barbara Kingsolver

I lost a child," she said, meeting Lusa's eyes directly. "I thought I wouldn't live through it. But you do. You learn to love the place somebody leaves behind for you.

Barbara Kingsolver

Now I'm starting to think he wasn't supposed to be my whole life, he was just this doorway to me.

Barbara Kingsolver

A human being can be good or bad or right or wrong, maybe. But how can you say a person is illegal? You just can't. That's all there is to it.

Barbara Kingsolver

Morning always comes.

Barbara Kingsolver

Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life.

Barbara Kingsolver

If you want sweet dreams, you've got to live a sweet life.

Barbara Kingsolver

The death of something living is the price of our own survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.

Barbara Kingsolver

I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved.

Barbara Kingsolver

Last time I talked to her she didn't sound like herself. She's depressed. It's awful what happens when people run out of money. They start thinking they're no good.

Barbara Kingsolver

I've about decided that's the main thing that separates happy people from the other people: the feeling that you're a practical item, with a use, like a sweater or a socket wrench.

Barbara Kingsolver

Love weighs nothing.

Barbara Kingsolver

...I stir in bed and the memories rise out of me like a buzz of flies from a carcass. I crave to be rid of them...

Barbara Kingsolver

Oh, mercy. If it catches you in the wrong frame of mind, the King James Bible can make you want to drink poison in no uncertain terms.

Barbara Kingsolver

Cooking is 80 percent confidence, a skill best acquired starting from when the apron strings wrap around you twice.

Barbara Kingsolver

Sadness is more or less like a head cold - with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.

Barbara Kingsolver

I had decided early on that if I couldn’t dress elegant, I’d dress memorable.

Barbara Kingsolver

If the Lord hasn't got a boyfriend lined up for me to marry, that's his business.

Barbara Kingsolver

When moral superiority combines with billowing ignorance, they fill up a hot-air balloon that's awfully hard not to poke.

Barbara Kingsolver

It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.

Barbara Kingsolver

It's terrible to lose somebody, but it's also true that some people never have anybody to lose, and I think that's got to be so much worse.

Barbara Kingsolver

A choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. I am the forest's conscience, but remember, the forest eats itself and lives forever.

Barbara Kingsolver

It's the one thing we never quite get over: that we contain our own future.

Barbara Kingsolver

I thought: this is how life is, ridiculous beyond comprehension.

Barbara Kingsolver

Alice wonders if other women in the middle of the night have begun to resent their Formica.

Barbara Kingsolver

I thought I wouldn't live through it. But you do. You learn to love the place somebody leaves behind for you.

Barbara Kingsolver

Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization.

Barbara Kingsolver

...nothing momentous comes in this world unless it comes on the shoulders of kindness.

Barbara Kingsolver

The conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners

Barbara Kingsolver

No matter what kind of night you're having, morning always wins.

Barbara Kingsolver

Hunger of the body is altogether different from the shallow, daily hunger of the belly. Those who have known this kind of hunger cannot entirely love, ever again, those who have not.

Barbara Kingsolver

Honk if you love Jesus, text while driving if you want to meet up.

Barbara Kingsolver

Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.

Barbara Kingsolver

He was getting that look he gets, oh boy, like Here comes Moses tromping down off of Mount Syanide with ten fresh ways to wreck your life.

Barbara Kingsolver

For if there is any single thing that everyone hopes for most dearly, it must be this: that the youngest outlive the oldest.

Barbara Kingsolver

Every life is different because you passed this way and touched history.

Barbara Kingsolver

Poor Congo, barefoot bride of men who took her jewels and promised the Kingdom.

Barbara Kingsolver

We came from Bethlehem, Georgia bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle.

Barbara Kingsolver

You can't really know the person standing before you, because always there is some missing piece

Barbara Kingsolver

Maybe he's been in Africa so long he has forgotten that we Christians have our own system of marriage, and it is called Monotony.

Barbara Kingsolver

Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.

Barbara Kingsolver

Mr. Shepherd, ye cannot stop a bad thought from coming into your head. But ye need not pull up a chair and bide it sit down." - Mrs. Brown

Barbara Kingsolver

A breeze shook rain out of new leaves onto their hair, but in their pursuit of eternity they never noticed the chill.

Barbara Kingsolver

When you're given a brilliant child you polish her and let her shine. Pigs in Heaven

Barbara Kingsolver

You can curse the dead or pray for them, but don't expect them to do a thing for you. They're far too interested in watching us, to see what in heaven's name we will do next.

Barbara Kingsolver

I learned to write by reading the kind of books I wished I'd written.

Barbara Kingsolver

Will you explain to me why people encourage delusional behaviour in children, and medicate it in adults?

Barbara Kingsolver

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. The most you can do is live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides.

Barbara Kingsolver

Because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me, or paused at least to strike a glancing blow with his sky-blue mouth as he passed.

Barbara Kingsolver

What we lose in our great human exodus from the land is a rooted sense, as deep and intangible as religious faith, of why we need to hold on to the wild and beautiful places that once surrounded us.

Barbara Kingsolver

Friends, there is nothing like your own family to make you appreciate strangers!

Barbara Kingsolver

You see mother, you had no life of your own. They have no idea. One has only a life of one's own.

Barbara Kingsolver

If you can't dress expensive, dress memorable.

Barbara Kingsolver

The loudest sound on earth, she thought, is a man with nothing to do.

Barbara Kingsolver

Be careful what you give children, for sooner or later you are sure to get it back.

Barbara Kingsolver

How is it right to slip free of an old skin and walk away from the scene of the crime? We came, we saw, we took away and we left behind, we must be allowed our anguish and our regrets.

Barbara Kingsolver

If you ask me, when something extraordinary shows up in your life in the middle of the night, you give it a name and make it the best home you can.

Barbara Kingsolver

But children robbed of love will dwell on magic.

Barbara Kingsolver

Lies are infinite in number, and the truth so small and singular.

Barbara Kingsolver

This Forest eats itself and lives forever.

Barbara Kingsolver

Science doesn't tell us what we should do. It only tells us what is.

Barbara Kingsolver

The average food item on a U.S. grocery shelf has traveled farther than most families go on their annual vacations.

Barbara Kingsolver

I considered her my ally, because, like me, she was imperfect.

Barbara Kingsolver