Paperback - 352 pages
Reprint edition (August 1991)
HarperCollins (paper); ISBN:
Kingsolver demonstrates a special gift for the vivid evocation
of landscape and of her characters' state of mind."
"If you want sweet dreams, you've got to live a sweet life." Loyd Peregrina
in Animal Dreams Cynical and self-absorbed, Codi Noline has been drifting
in an aimless relationship and through a series of jobs when she packs
up and returns home to the town of Grace, Arizona to care for her physician
father, who has Alzheimers, and to teach high school science. Emotionally
distant from her childhood and father, feeling herself to be an outsider
and a failure, Codi sees nothing but differences between herself and her
younger sister, Hallie, a political activist, and now, a volunteer worker
in Nicaragua. Through her involvements with Loyd Peregrina (a handsome
trainman of Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache descent), the local matriarchs
of the "Stitch and Bitch Club," and her students, and through reading
Hallie's letters from Nicaragua, Codi gradually lets go of her defensive
isolation. Slowly, she recovers her connection to a sense of self and
a community that has always been there, but she had forgotten. When her
hometown is threatened with environmental catastrophe, she finds herself,
like Hallie, taking responsibility for changing the world around her.
-1990 Edward Abbey Award for Ecofiction-1991 PEN Center USA West Literary
Award for Fiction-1991 American Library Association Best Books of the
Year-1991 American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
Kingsolver on Animal Dreams: "Animal Dreams was the first novel I wrote
on purpose, so it's more calculated thematically than The Bean Trees.
The question I began with was this: why do some people engage with the
world and its problems, while others turn their backs on it? And why is
it that these two sorts of people often occur even in the same family?
I'm very curious about this because I'm a human rights activist myself.
So I invented two sisters with apparently opposite personalities, and
then I invested them with a family and began to work backwards to find
the point in their shared history that would have pushed them into opposite