Girl Can Write (Poisonwood)!

by Chris Kamalski

This book is rocking my world hardcore these days, as we rapidly reach the end of our second learning posture, Submerging, this week.

I’m still about 140 pages from the end, and am flying through it to finish in time for what will prove to be a fantastic book discussion at Barbara’s house this Thursday night, but let me just say: Wow, does Barbara Kingsolver know how to craft a sentence.  Many of you know me as a chronic-underliner of books, often remarking on what I have left out instead of actually highlighted. I have found myself blocking-off whole passages simply due to their linguistic beauty, as opposed to ‘what they are saying.’  

Chew on this nugget as you fight your case of the “Moondays” (Movie Reference? Comment away, friends):

Let me claim that Africa and I kept company for awhile and then parted ways, as if we were both party to relations with a failed outcome.  Or say I was afflicted with Africa like a bout of a rare disease, from which I have not managed a full recovery…You’ll say I walked across Africa with my wrists unshackled, and now I am one more soul walking free in a white skin, wearing some thread of the stolen goods: cotten or diamonds, freedom at the very least, prosperity.  Some of use know how we came by our fortune, and some of us don’t, but we wear it all the same.  There’s only one question worth asking now: How do we aim to live with it? (Orleanna Price, p. 9).

Or this (Have you ever heard the forest described more vividly?):

Picture the forest.  I want you to be its conscience, the eyes in the trees.  The trees are columns of slick, brindled bark like muscular animals overgrown beyond all reason.  Every space is filled with life: delicate, poisonous frogs war-painted like skeletons, clutched in copulation, secreting their precious eggs onto dripping leaves.  Vines strangling their own kin in the everlasting wrestle for sunlight.  The breathing of monkeys.  A glide of snake belly on branch.  A single-file army of ants biting a mammoth tree into uniform grains and hauling it down to the dark for their ravenous queen.  And, in reply, a choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death.  This forest eats itself and lives forever. (Orleanna Price, p. 5).