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Barbara Kingsolver dislikes political label

12th November 2009

The Poisonwood Bible author Barbara Kingsolver wishes people would stop pigeonholing her works as 'political'.

Speaking to the Washington Post, the writer claimed that novels are often given the political label if they are considered 'brave' or deal with issues that make readers feel uncomfortable.

While she admits covering contentious topics such as Native American tribal rights and the Nicaraguan contras, Kingsolver believes the political fiction tag is limiting.

'We live in a society that packages things into handy boxes and we're used to being told what to think,' she explained.

Kingsolver, whose most recent work is The Lacuna, also told the newspaper that one of the things she finds most gratifying about literature is that it does not tell readers what to do and demands they make up their own minds about the issues covered.

Reviewing The Lacuna in the Independent, Nina Lakhani said the novel is 'tender, tragic, optimistic, sometimes depressing - but always compelling'.

She also pointed out that the work is slower paced than Kingsolver's previous books, but claimed this is to good effect and will add to the praise she won with The Poisonwood Bible.

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