Join us for a rare evening with legendary author Barbara Kingsolver as she presents her Pulitzer Prize Winning novel Demon Copperhead.
From the acclaimed author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, a brilliant novel that enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity.
Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.
Barbara Kingsolver is the author of Demon Copperhead (Harper, 2022), a contemporary re-telling of David Copperfield set in Appalachia at the onset of the opioid epidemic. Demon Copperhead is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and is shortlisted for the Women’s Prize. It was named one of the top ten books of the year by the New York Times and the Washington Post, and has spent over 27 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She is also the author of ten bestselling works of fiction, including the novels Unsheltered, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.
Barbara Kingsolver photo courtesy of Evan Kafka.