Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible

“This forest eats itself and lives forever.”

In the first paragraphs of Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, she describes the jungle in Africa where the cycle of birth and death is constant and seedlings grow out of rotted tree stumps, “sucking life out of death.” The novel follows an Evangelical Baptist missionary who takes his wife and four daughters to live in the Belgian Congo.

Thanks to a writer for emailing this sentence to my blog which she found “brilliant.” Having lived in Oregon’s coastal temperate rainforest, she was “familiar with its lushness and ruthless habit of growing new life, not out of soil, but other live and dying plants and animals.”

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