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The Poisonwood Bible (1998)

von Barbara Kingsolver

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
23,902464108 (4.19)995
The drama of a U.S. missionary family in Africa during a war of decolonization. At its center is Nathan Price, a self-righteous Baptist minister who establishes a mission in a village in 1959 Belgian Congo. The resulting clash of cultures is seen through the eyes of his wife and his four daughters.
Kürzlich hinzugefügt vonJaynesHat, private Bibliothek, lhurst, DevonKotke, sanyamakadi, tclitsoc, jgallo123, MarisolFernandez, dirtfarmer, AmbassadorNash
  1. 223
    Gute Geister von Kathryn Stockett (paulkid)
    paulkid: Race relations on different continents, told from multiple female perspectives.
  2. 172
    Das rote Zelt der Frauen. von Anita Diamant (derelicious)
  3. 130
    Okonkwo oder Das Alte stürzt von Chinua Achebe (jlelliott)
    jlelliott: Each tells the story of Christian missionaries in Africa, one from the perspective of the missionaries, one from the perspective of the local people targeted for "salvation".
  4. 142
    Prodigal Summer von Barbara Kingsolver (Booksloth)
  5. 121
    Rückkehr nach Missing: Roman von Abraham Verghese (momofthreewi)
    momofthreewi: Both are rich in character development and centered around unique families.
  6. 122
    The Bean Trees von Barbara Kingsolver (kraaivrouw)
  7. 90
    Herz der Finsternis von Joseph Conrad (WSB7)
    WSB7: Both about "colonialisms" abuses in the Congo, among other themes.
  8. 80
    Denn sie sollen getröstet werden von Alan Paton (allenmichie)
  9. 92
    Jenseits von Afrika von Isak Dinesen (allenmichie)
  10. 82
    The Lacuna von Barbara Kingsolver (GreenVelvet)
  11. 60
    Auf der Suche nach Indien. von E. M. Forster (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: You could use the theme of colonialism to pair The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver with Passage to India by E. M. Forster.
  12. 71
    Schatten über dem Kongo: Die Geschichte eines fast vergessenen Menschheitsverbrechen von Adam Hochschild (baobab)
  13. 83
    Moskito- Küste. Roman. von Paul Theroux (whirled)
  14. 50
    The Book of Negroes von Lawrence Hill (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: The book has a similar familial tone and is also told from the point of view of young girls growing up in a difficult situation. I had been looking for a book with a similar writing style and was happy to find this one. If you liked The Book of Negroes I recommend The Poisonwood Bible and vice versa.… (mehr)
  15. 83
    Der Gott der kleinen Dinge von Arundhati Roy (kiwiflowa)
  16. 40
    Jesus Land: A Memoir von Julia Scheeres (literarysarah)
  17. 30
    Blood River: Ins dunkle Herz des Kongo von Tim Butcher (CatherineRM)
    CatherineRM: I love both these books and they nicely juxtapose each other with their Congo total immersion albeit one fictional and one factual. Tim Butcher traces the Congo River from its source through the dense equatorial land that the protagonist of the Kingsolver book occupied with his suffering family. Both books made a lasting impression on me and I have great time for Africa as I lived in Tanzania - close to Congo geographically for most of the time - and it has a big place in my heart. Read both books and be enriched!… (mehr)
  18. 20
    Fluss der Wunder: Roman von Ann Patchett (sweetbug)
    sweetbug: Similar themes of conflict between two cultures, Westerners living and working in an exotic and dangerous land, and parents / surrogate parents protecting (or not) their children from harm.
  19. 20
    Solange du lebst von Louise Erdrich (charl08)
  20. 20
    The Civilized World von Susi Wyss (ShortStoryLover)
    ShortStoryLover: Although it's much shorter than Poisonwood, The Civilized World also has multiple points of view from female perspectives and the chapters are almost all set in various parts of present-day Africa.

(Alle 31 Empfehlungen anschauen)

1990s (20)
Africa (29)
hopes (27)
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Hard to find the words to describe this book. It's wonderfully written, but dark & twisty & sad. I couldn't put it down. ( )
  tjgardner | Aug 25, 2021 |
Of books that switch cyclically between voices, I think this one most masterfully helped me remember who is who. More so than Amy Tan, more so than Julia Alvarez. The writing is next level. So much so that sometimes I wish Kingsolver was more selfish and didn't make Ruth May as a 5 year old, who fails at some words, so convincing. I know that would ruin the magic of the book though.

The philosophical discussions are laid out primarily as banter between sisters and not as a lecture at readers. For example, one might get the impression that the book is strictly anti-missionary because of the fall of Tata Price, because of his overbearing and unrelenting vision of what that means. But the debate and tension between Father Price and Brother Fowles gives room to develop sympathy for those missionaries that respect the local culture and incorporate that into the spirit of Christian missionary work. For many other issues, as with this one, Kingsolver takes the same kind of care to present multiple voices.

For another example, Kingsolver might seem to devolve into the strawman view that moral truths as applied to a person are made true by whatever that person's culture holds sacrosanct---what we might call cultural relativism. But she shies away from this, even as we might read this endorsement off of Kingsolver when Leah and Adah make fun of Rachel for failing to step out of her American shell. And we cannot get this from Kingsolver even if, as part of the subtext, Leah and Adah are the "smart" ones. It is merely that:

"here where we pay soothsayers and acrobats to help lose our weight, then yes, for a child to die from hunger is immoral. But this is just one place. I'm afraid I have seen a world. In the world, the carrying capacity for humans is limited...[W]hen families have spent a million years making nine in the hope of saving one, they cannot stop making nine. Culture is a slingshot moved by the force of its past. When the strap lets go, what flies forward will not be family planning..."

It is just a reminder that how moral principles are applied depend on context and circumstance, which Kingsolver, thankfully, is careful not to use as an excuse to deny the stringent force of morality. It is similar to being able to say that what gravity does to a mason jar on a coffee table in Boston is not what it would do to the mason jar on a corner of Mars, which does not at all deny gravity its fully objective presence or the universality of physics. Cultural, and therefore, context sensitivity is consistent with upholding universal or objective values.

Adah goes on, perhaps anticipating this confusion: "Mother says I have no heart for my own kind. She doesn't know. I have too much. I know what we have done, and what we deserve." This is compatible with an objective/non-cultural-dependent sense of wrongdoing, of desert and retribution. So at this point, we can read the previous passage as Kingsolver's rejection of such notions for cultural relativism, juxtapose it with this passage, and therefore easily dismiss Kingsolver as a bad, hypocritical thinker displaying blatant contradictions. Or we can read her as being a careful and compassionate writer, which I think she is, who weaves her way in and out of various complex ideas, using them at the same time to show how the Price sisters grew apart, and occupying a space that is more subtle than This or That. Props for that. ( )
  tonberrysc | Aug 20, 2021 |
Lush with Barbara Kinsolver’s typical detail, this story transported me to a time and place I knew little about. The characters have distinct, interesting voices, and though I could see the train-wreck of a culture clash coming from the very first page, I read on, pulled inexorably toward the disaster, and then through it to the interesting things the surviving characters made of their lives afterward. I came away wanting to know more about the history of the Congo and maybe all of Africa.

As always when I read something like this, I found myself wondering what other important twentieth century events and movements my high school “World History” managed to completely skip.

I did find it difficult to believe a Southern Baptist preacher would be as immersed in the Apocrypha as the Reverend Price was, and that made me wonder about how accurately other cultures might be portrayed in the book. But perhaps Kingsolver took more trouble to research the various African groups than the American cultures she wasn’t fully part of.

This issue, however, is trifling, and on the whole, The Poisonwood Bible was well worth reading. Not, perhaps, good enough to make it onto my keeper shelf (for books I frequently reread), but close. ( )
  RayLynneSH | Aug 13, 2021 |
I put off reading this book for over five years, being drawn to it on one hand by its numerous literary awards as well as for its purported insights into life in post-colonial Central Africa. On the other hand, I kept asking myself if I really wanted to read a book that just might be about the hardships of an American missionary wife and her four daughters sent to the Congo during the 1960's. Reader's reviews didn't settle the case, with a few considering the book long and boring, or somehow insulting to Christianity and / or the foreign policy of the United States, and others describing the book with highest praise. Finally swung by a fairly high cumulative rating by the Goodreads community, I picked up the book, and ultimately found it hard to put down. I found I had nothing to fear from those who's sensibilities dealing with their faith or their politics were somehow offended, for that was far from the case. While true that the unforgiving fire and brimstone preaching Reverend Price was not portrayed as a likable character, other Christian missionaries discussed were characterized as highly effective and likable characters. But those were side issues, for the book isn't about U.S. foreign policy nor about a Baptist mission in the Congo. It's really about the lives of the American missionary family who volunteered to spend a year in Africa. The book is reminiscent in style of another recent popular book, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", in that both stories are told not in a continuous narrative style, but rather in the form of alternating letters or memories of the affected individuals, specifically in this case, the wife of Reverend Price, and her four daughters. As the individual stories were told, the personality, strengths and weaknesses of each was developed, and I became drawn to hear more of the story from each of their perspectives. It seemed that the responses of each of the women represented the wide spectrum of responses possible to hardship and adversity, such as avoidance, acceptance, rebellion, and triumph, as well as an ability to see the world at large and beyond a parochial American viewpoint. The story begins with the family's initial mission in the Congo, and then continues and shows how the time in Africa impacted each of their lives. I thought the book was well researched and presented an accurate portrayal of African life as well as missionary life. And although the responses of each individual cannot be taken as expected nor predictable, they can be considered to inclusive in terms of the types of response one might expect after being uprooted and transported to such a different place and lifestyle. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Barbara Kingsolver (2005) ( )
  arosoff | Jul 10, 2021 |
Kingsolver once wrote that ""The point [of portraying other cultures] is not to emulate other lives, or usurp their wardrobes. The point is to find sense.'' Her effort to make sense of the Congo's tragic struggle for independence is fully realized, richly embroidered, triumphant.
hinzugefügt von Shortride | bearbeitenNewsweek (Nov 9, 1998)
A writer who casts a preacher as a fool and a villain had best not be preachy. Kingsolver manages not to be, in part because she is a gifted magician of words--her sleight-of-phrase easily distracting a reader who might be on the point of rebellion. Her novel is both powerful and quite simple. It is also angrier and more direct than her earlier books.
hinzugefügt von Shortride | bearbeitenTime, John Skow (Nov 9, 1998)
The Congo permeates ''The Poisonwood Bible,'' and yet this is a novel that is just as much about America, a portrait, in absentia, of the nation that sent the Prices to save the souls of a people for whom it felt only contempt, people who already, in the words of a more experienced missionary, ''have a world of God's grace in their lives, along with a dose of hardship that can kill a person entirely.''
Although ''The Poisonwood Bible'' takes place in the former Belgian Congo and begins in 1959 and ends in the 1990's, Barbara Kingsolver's powerful new book is actually an old-fashioned 19th-century novel, a Hawthornian tale of sin and redemption and the ''dark necessity'' of history.

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (16 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Barbara KingsolverHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Beard, ElliottGestaltungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Metz, JulieUmschlaggestalterCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Meyer, HanÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Mulder, ArjenÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Post, MaaikeÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Robertson, DeanErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Spear, GeoffCover photoCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence. I can understand a wrathful God who'd just as soon dangle us all from a hook. And I can understand a tender, unprejudiced Jesus. But I could never quite figure the two of them living in the same house.
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.
While my husband's intentions crystallized as rock salt, and while I preoccupied myself with private survival, the Congo breathed behind the curtain of forest, preparing to roll over us like a river.
Overpopulation has deforested 3/4 of Africa, yielding drought, famine, and the probable extinction of all animals most beloved by children and zoos.... Africa has a thousand ways of cleaning itself. Driver ants, Ebola virus, AIDS, all these are brooms devised by nature to sweep a small clearing very well.
Back home we have the most glorious garden each and every summer, so it's only natural that my father thought to bring over seeds in his pockets: Kentucky Wonder beans, crookneck and patty-pan squash, Big Boy tomatoes. He planned to make a demonstration garden, from which we'd gather a harvest for our table and also supply food and seeds to the villagers. It was to be our first African miracle: an infinite chain of benevolence rising from these small, crackling seed packets, stretching out from our garden into a circle of other gardens, flowing outward across the Congo like ripples from a rock dropped in a pond.... Father started clearing a pot of ground out of the jungle's edge near our house, and packing off rows.... He beat down a square of tall grass and wild pink flowers ... Then he bent over and began to rip out long handfuls of grass with quick, energetic jerks as though tearing out the hair of the world.... "Leah," he enquired, "why do you think the Lord gave us seeds to grow, instead of having our dinner just spring up out there on the ground like a bunch of field rocks? Because the Lord helps those that help themselves."
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (2)

The drama of a U.S. missionary family in Africa during a war of decolonization. At its center is Nathan Price, a self-righteous Baptist minister who establishes a mission in a village in 1959 Belgian Congo. The resulting clash of cultures is seen through the eyes of his wife and his four daughters.

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