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Introduction into The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Transcript of Introduction into The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
The Bean Trees
by Barbara Kingsolver
She begins the novel as Marietta “Missy” Greer and changes her name as she travels west. Her life changes when an abandoned child is placed in her car.
Born in 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland, Kingsolver grew up in rural Kentucky.
She began writing as a young child, but chose to study biology in college at DePauw University.
In her twenties she moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she eventually earned a graduate degree in ecology at the University of Arizona.
Following graduate school, Kingsolver turned back to her life-long love—writing—and began writing nonfiction as a technical writer in a scientific program at the university.
By the mid-1980s she was writing and publishing short fiction.
Her contact in Arizona with people from Latin America, particularly refugees, influenced Kingsolver's choice of subject matter when she turned to fiction.
Published in 1988, The Bean Trees was her first novel.
The novel begins in Pittman, Kentucky, a fictitious place that has the character and type of people you might find in any small Kentucky town. The characters pass through the Cherokee Nation area of Oklahoma. However, most of the action takes place in Tucson, Arizona around the imaginary Roosevelt Park, surrounded by low-rent homes, a lingerie shop, a Chinese grocery, and a tire repair shop.
An abused child that ends up in Taylor’s care. She is 2-3 years old, a Cherokee Native American, and speaks little more than the names of vegetables.
She is the owner of Jesus Is Lord Used Tires. She is wise and tough enough to handle problems.
Lou Ann Ruiz
She is an attractive young blonde and the mother of a baby boy, Dwayne Ray. Her husband Angel has left her. She shares her home with Taylor and Turtle.
He was an English teacher in Guatemala but is now a refugee. He and his wife stay with Mattie.
She is Estevan’s wife. She is in despair throughout most of the novel.