Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
For many people in the United States, food is relatively abundant. It comes from the supermarket, and additives keep items fresh. With elaborate transport systems, a variety of food is available year-round. However, it was not always this way. Over the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century, farming has been radically altered, transformed from small, often family-run enterprises into a commercial industry of gigantic proportions and profits. For some, this change means progress, and the attendant energy and other costs are simply part of the process. However, a growing number of Americans are paying attention to the effects of their food choices, not only on their own lives but also on their communities and the environment. In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver chronicles the story of her family’s year of “deliberately eating food produced in the same place where we worked, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air.”
The narrative begins in May, 2004, as Kingsolver, her husband, and their two daughters, Camille and Lily, are leaving Tucson, Arizona, for a road trip to their farm in Virginia. For some time, they had talked about setting down permanent roots there, and it was about to happen. They were also planning to live off the land for one year, eating...
(The entire section is 1960 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
The Boston Globe, May 20, 2007, p. F1.
Kirkus Reviews 75, no. 5 (March 1, 2007): 208-209.
Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2007, p. E18.
The New York Times Book Review 156 (May 27, 2007): 11.
Publishers Weekly 254, no. 13 (March 26, 2007): 75.
San Francisco Chronicle, May 27, 2007, p. F1.
Science News 171, no. 26 (June 30, 2007): 408-409.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 29, 2007, p. F1.
USA Today Magazine 136 (September, 2007): 80-81.
Women’s Review of Books 24, no. 6 (November, 2007): 10-11.
(The entire section is 58 words.)