102 Best Barbara Kingsolver Quotes about Nature, Earth and Writing

Barbara Kingsolver, born in 1955, is a famous author celebrated for her insightful perspectives on nature, earth and writing.

Raised in rural Kentucky, Kingsolver’s diverse life experiences in places like England, France, Asia and South America have informed her unique narrative voice.

Her prolific career includes works like “The Poisonwood Bible,” “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” and “The Lacuna,” which won the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010.


Kingsolver’s work has been adopted into core literature curricula in high schools and colleges nationwide and translated into more than two dozen languages.

Honored as one of the 20th century’s most important writers by Writer’s Digest, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2000.

Related: Gary Keller Quotes from Author of The One Thing and Haruki Murakami Quotes on Life, Love & Motivation

Kingsolver also established the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, fostering new literary voices.

Currently, she resides on a southern Appalachian farm with her family, committing to her writing and community activism.

I have curated the famous quotes by Barbara Kingsolver below.

Best Barbara Kingsolver Quotes


Everything you’re sure is right can be wrong in another place. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


It’s what you do that makes your soul. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


She kept swimming out into life because she hadn’t yet found a rock to stand on. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


The loudest sound on earth, she thought, is a man with nothing to do. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Wherever I am, let me never forget to distinguish want from need. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The happiest people are the ones with the most community. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The loss of a life: unwelcome. Immoral? I don’t know. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


A mother can be only as happy as her unhappiest child. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I had decided early on that if I couldn’t dress elegant, I’d dress memorable. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Science doesn’t tell us what we should do. It only tells us what is. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Loose lips sink ships. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Childhood was nothing guaranteed. It seemed to me, in fact, like something more or less invented by white people and stuck onto the front end of grown-up life like a frill on a dress. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you’re good, bad things can still happen. And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

This Forest eats itself and lives forever. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I knew Rome was burning, but I had just enough water to scrub the floors, so I did what I could. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

It’s frightening when things you love appear suddenly changed from what you have always known. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


The truth needs so little rehearsal. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Memories do not always soften with time; some grow edges like knives. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Top Barbara Kingsolver Quotes

Hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work – that goes on, it adds up. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Morning always comes. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

If any contract between men required the non-white one to adopt the legal identity of his Caucasian companion, would we pop the champagne? ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Tall and straight I may appear, but I will always be Ada inside. A crooked little person trying to tell the truth. The power is in the balance: we are our injuries, as much as we are our successes. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

After ‘The Poisonwood Bible’ was published, several people believed that my parents were missionaries, which could not be further from the truth. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

God doesn’t need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Sadness is more or less like a head cold – with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

A human being can be good or bad or right or wrong, maybe. But how can you say a person is illegal? You just can’t. That’s all there is to it. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Deep Barbara Kingsolver Quotes


The substance of grief is not imaginary. It’s as real as rope or the absence of air, and like both those things, it can kill. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

If it’s important, your heart remembers. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I used to think religion was just more of the same thing. Dump responsibility on the big guy. Now I see an importance in that. It’s a relief to accept that not everything is under your control. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Silence has many advantages. When you do not speak, other people presume you to be deaf or feeble-minded and promptly make a show of their own limitations. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

No matter what kind of night you’re having, morning always wins. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

If God had amused himself inventing the lilies of the field, he surely knocked His own socks off with the African parasites. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Quit smoking, and observe posted speed limits. This will improve your odds of getting old enough to be wise. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Maybe life doesn’t get any better than this, or any worse, and what we get is just what we’re willing to find: small wonders, where they grow. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

There is a strange moment in time, after something horrible happens, when you know it’s true, but you haven’t told anyone yet. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Famous Barbara Kingsolver Quotes


Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I’m of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

War so conspicuously benefits rich men and kills the poor ones. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I’ve seen how you can’t learn anything when you’re trying to look like the smartest person in the room. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Literature sucks you into another psyche. So the creation of empathy necessarily influences how you’ll behave to other people. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Literature is one of the few kinds of writing in the world that does not tell you what to buy, want, see, be, or believe. It’s more like conversation, raising new questions and moving you to answer them for yourself. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

What life can I live that will let me breathe in and out and love somebody or something and not run off screaming into the woods? ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

People’s dreams are made out of what they do all day. The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits. It’s what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Ultimate Barbara Kingsolver Quotes


Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Good fiction creates empathy. A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through the eyes of another person, to live another life. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

You can curse the dead or pray for them, but don’t expect them to do a thing for you. They’re far too interested in watching us, to see what in heaven’s name we will do next. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

There are Christians and then there are Christians. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

There is no perfect time to write. There is only now. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I considered her my ally, because, like me, she was imperfect. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Lies are infinite in number, and the truth so small and singular. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Wise Barbara Kingsolver Quotes


A certain feeling comes from throwing your good life away, and it is one part rapture. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Don’t wait for the muse. She has a lousy work ethic. Writers just write. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

You don’t think you’ll live past it and you don’t really. The person you were is gone. But the half of you that’s still alive wakes up one day and takes over again. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

It seems very safe to me to be surrounded by green growing things and water. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Culture is a slingshot moved by the force of its past. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Global commerce is driven by a single conviction: the inalienable right to earn profit, regardless of any human cost. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


Love weighs nothing. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Do you know, I spent the first half of my life avoiding motherhood and tires, and now I’m counting them as blessings? ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

It’s as if cats live in a separate universe that takes up the same space as ours, but is full of fascinating things like mice or sparrows or special TV programs that we can’t see. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Fiction is a sort of inter-human magic, allowing you to travel into a scene and feel it tingle on your skin… ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I thought I’d had a pretty hard life. But I keep finding out that life can be hard in ways I never knew about. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Inspiring Barbara Kingsolver Quotes

The power is in the balance: we are our injuries, as much as we are our successes. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

There’s always more to a story than a body can see from the fenceline. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The first sentence of a book is a promise. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

It’s terrible to lose somebody, but it’s also true that some people never have anybody to lose, and I think that’s got to be so much worse. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It’s everyone’s, come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

With no men around, everyone was surprisingly lighthearted. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The changes we dread most may contain our salvation. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Our childhood had passed over into history overnight. The transition was unnoticed by anyone but ourselves. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Sugar, it’s no parade but you’ll get down the street one way or another, so you’d just as well throw your shoulders back and pick up the pace. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I’ve always seen the world through the eyes of a scientist. I love the predictable outcomes that science gives us, the control over the world that that can render. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Great Barbara Kingsolver Quotes

The wrong words are impossible when there are no words. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

I do my best work if I think about what it is I have to offer. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Recall that whatever lofty things you might accomplish today, you will do them only because you first ate something that grew out of the dirt. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

We’re animals. We’re born like every other mammal and we live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

In a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is make things as right as we can. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

From the fallen tree everybody makes firewood. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

There but for the grace of serotonin go the rest of us. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The march of human progress seemed mainly a matter of getting over that initial shock of being here. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Thoughtful Barbara Kingsolver Quotes

Listen. Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

If you want sweet dreams, you’ve got to live a sweet life. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

The death of something living is the price of our survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

As a biologist, I can’t think of myself as anything but an animal among animals and plants. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

How pointless life could be, what a foolish business of inventing things to love, just so you could dread losing them. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.


I thought: this is how life is, ridiculous beyond comprehension. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

Oh, that river of wishes, the slippery crocodile dream of it, how it might have carried my body down through all the glittering sand bars to the sea. ~ Barbara Kingsolver.

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.

So these were the 102 top Barbara Kingsolver quotes and sayings about Nature, Earth, Motherhood and Writing.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Bessel van der Kolk quotes and Seamus Heaney quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar