Novelist and poet Barbara Kingsolver has published 16 books over the course of her career, but the last months of the 20th century marked a turning point. Not only did she publish “The Poisonwood Bible” in 1998, a novel that sold more than 4 million copies, but the following year she founded what’s now called the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, North America’s largest monetary award for an unpublished work of fiction. In a 2015 interview, Kingsolver emphasized her passion for helping individuals find their voices. Through listening and processing what’s going on around us — and in other communities — we'll encounter and come up with new ideas, allowing us to advance the conversation.
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