Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Poisonwood Bible: Context
The Poisonwood Bible: Plot Summary
The Poisonwood Bible: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Poisonwood Bible: Themes
The Poisonwood Bible: Quotes
The Poisonwood Bible: Characters
The Poisonwood Bible: Symbols
The Poisonwood Bible: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Barbara Kingsolver
Historical Context of The Poisonwood Bible
Other Books Related to The Poisonwood Bible
- Full Title: The Poisonwood Bible
- Where Written: Atlanta, New York City
- When Published: Fall 1998
- Literary Period: Post-colonial literature, third wave feminism
- Genre: Historical Fiction
- Setting: Congo, Georgia, Angola (1960-1980s)
- Climax: The death of Ruth May Price
- Antagonist: Arguably Nathaniel Price; more generally, though, the forces of capitalism and Western imperialism.
- Point of View: The novel switches between many different points of view: those of Orleanna, Adah, Ruth May, Rachel, and Leah Price.
Extra Credit for The Poisonwood Bible
No stranger to controversy: As you can probably guess from reading Poisonwood, Barbara Kingsolver is no stranger to political controversy. During the early 1990s, she left the country to protest the Bush administration’s decision to wage war in the Persian Gulf. A decade later, she was in the news again for criticizing Bush the Younger’s “War on Terror.”
Awards!: Kingsolver has won or been nominated for many prestigious honors over the years. She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poisonwood, and won the Los Angeles Time Book Award. Possibly her greatest honor, though, is Poisonwood being chosen for Oprah’s Book Club.