August 18, 2017

Barbara Kingsolver interview, Press Democrat

Author Barbara Kingsolver's most recent book is "Flight Behavior."

Author Barbara Kingsolver’s most recent book is “Flight Behavior.”

I love interviewing authors because they have so much to say. I learned that the easy way when I put together my first literary book, “A Sense of Place” — a collection of conversations with travel writers. Last fall I spoke with a hero of mine, Barbara Kingsolver, and hoped to ask her something that would go beyond the thousands of interviews she’s already done. So I asked her:

Q. You seem to try something new in each of your books. What was your greatest challenge in this one?

And she replied that she’d never been asked that and enthusiastically responded:

A. It’s really important to me not to write the same book twice, not even close. What gets me to my desk every day is the thrill of doing something new, that I’m not at all sure I can really pull off. In (“Flight Behavior”), the scary, difficult thing … was to write about climate change, to write about science and convey the basic fundamentals in an artistic way. As a person trained in science, I feel this is mission work: To carry important ideas of science that people really need to know. … In the beginning I had no idea how I was going to succeed at that, and at the end I felt, by golly, that I did.

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