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The Southern Family Farm as Endangered Species: Possibilities for Survival in Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer

The Southern Family Farm as Endangered Species: Possibilities for Survival in Barbara... The Southern Family Farm as Endangered Species: Possibilities for Survival in Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer by Suzanne W. Jones In your father’s day all the farmers around here were doing fi ne. Now they have to work night shifts at the Kmart to keep up their mortgages. Why is that? They work just as hard as their parents did, and they’re on the same land, so what’s wrong? —Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer At the same time some southern studies scholars are position- ing the U.S. South in a larger cultural, historic, and economic region that encompasses the Caribbean and Latin America, some southern en- vironmentalist writers, such as long-time essayist and novelist Wendell Berry and activist-turned-memoirist Janisse Ray, are fi nding a pressing need to focus on smaller bioregions and the locatedness of the human subject. These writers believe that agribusiness and consumer ignorance are driving small farmers out of business and that clear-cutting timber and farming practices dependent on chemicals are threatening local eco- systems. Best-selling novelist Barbara Kingsolver has joined their ranks. With her most recent novel Prodigal Summer (2000), Kingsolver returns to her home region and her academic roots to explore both the crucial ecological issues http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

The Southern Family Farm as Endangered Species: Possibilities for Survival in Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

The Southern Family Farm as Endangered Species: Possibilities for Survival in Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer by Suzanne W. Jones In your father’s day all the farmers around here were doing fi ne. Now they have to work night shifts at the Kmart to keep up their mortgages. Why is that? They work just as hard as their parents did, and they’re on the same land, so what’s wrong? —Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer At the same time some southern studies scholars are position- ing the U.S. South in a larger cultural, historic, and economic region that encompasses the Caribbean and Latin America, some southern en- vironmentalist writers, such as long-time essayist and novelist Wendell Berry and activist-turned-memoirist Janisse Ray, are fi nding a pressing need to focus on smaller bioregions and the locatedness of the human subject. These writers believe that agribusiness and consumer ignorance are driving small farmers out of business and that clear-cutting timber and farming practices dependent on chemicals are threatening local eco- systems. Best-selling novelist Barbara Kingsolver has joined their ranks. With her most recent novel Prodigal Summer (2000), Kingsolver returns to her home region and her academic roots to explore both the crucial ecological issues

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 8, 2007

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