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Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Poisonwood Bible” Quotes (74 Quotes)


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  • For six years, from age nineteen until I turned twenty-five, I did not sleep uninterrupted through a single night. . . . I felt lucky to get my shoes on the right feet. . . . I moved forward only, thinking each morning anew that we were leaving the worst behind.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • Nathan was something that happened to us, as devastating in its way as the burning roof that fell on the family Mwanza; with our fate scarred by hell and brimstone we still had to track our course. And it happened finally by the grace of hell and brimstone that I had to keep moving. I moved, and he stood still.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • The forest eats itself and lives forever
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • For time and eternity there have been fathers like Nathan who simply can see no way to have a daughter but to own her like a plot of land. To work her, plow her under, rain down a dreadful poison upon her. Miraculously, it causes these girls to grow. They elongate on the pale slender stalks of their longing, like sunflowers with heavy heads. You can shield them with your body and soul, trying to absorb that awful rain, but they'll still move toward him. Without cease they'll bend to his light.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")


  • I'm too fascinated to hide indoors or stay cooped up in our yard. Curiosity killed the cat, I know, but I try to land on my feet.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • The gods you do not pay are the ones that can curse you best.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • Forgive me, O Heavenly Father, according to the multitude of Thy mercies. I have lusted in my heart to break a man's skull and scatter the stench of his brains across several people's back yards.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • Imagine a ruin so strange it must never have happened.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • Nobody had planted these flowers, I felt sure, nor harvested them either; these were works that the Lord had gone ahead and finished on His own. He must have lacked faith in mankind's follow-through capabilities, on the day he created flowers.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • This Forest eats itself and lives forever.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • A choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. I am the forest's conscience, but remember, the forest eats itself and lives forever.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • Friends, there is nothing like your own family to make you appreciate strangers!
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")

  • In exchange for his first taste of powdered milk, Pascal showed me a tree we could climb to find a bird's nest. After we handled and examined the pink-skinned baby birds, he popped one of them into his mouth like a jujube. It seemed to please him a lot. He offered a baby bird to me, pantomiming that I should eat it. I understood perfectly well what he meant, but I refused. He did not seem disappointed to have to eat the whole brood himself.
    (Barbara Kingsolver, "The Poisonwood Bible")


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