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Homeland and Other Stories

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,296 Ratings  ·  275 Reviews
Homeland and Other Stories offers comic, often heart-warming but always true to life tales told as only the author can, creating a world of love and possibility that listeners will want to take as their own.
Published November 8th 2005 by HarperAudio (first published 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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AJ Griffin
Jul 13, 2008 AJ Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: blue-collar democrats, people with decent attention spans, and of course Andrew Jackson
Recommended to AJ by: the word of God, through my mother
Leave it to my mother. Every time I get to the point where I've almost relegated her to the lands of the unenlightened, she pops out of the woodwork and shows off a surprising amount of taste; for a Baptist minister who proudly voted for George W. Bush and thinks Carrot Top is funny, my mom occasionally knows what's up. Homeland was an Easter gift, buried between chocolate bunnies and "inspirational" literature meant to soothe what she sees as my wayward soul. Like a lot of her gifts, the aforem ...more
I don't often read short stories, but a colleague lent this to me, and I'm so glad he did. It's beautifully written, and I will definitely go on to try Kingsolver's novels.

This is a collection of a dozen poignant stories: all quite different in plot, style, and setting (though all are in small, non-wealthy communities), but all concerning people who are somewhat marginalised, whether by society or within a relationship. In the few short pages of each story, Kingsolver conjures up whole lives...
Jul 04, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kingsolver is nothing if not political. She writes stories with a purpose. Lots of poetry, but no puffery. Her characters are strugglers not stragglers. She is of the South, but fights its good ole boy ways.

In each story, the main character, most always female, fights, fights as if her life depends upon it. It does. Indigenous people, Appalachians, native Americans, Latinas all need to balance right and wrong, familial love, racism, unionism, etc.

Each story is powerful and no issue is resolved.
Tina Cipolla
May 31, 2013 Tina Cipolla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have just recently returned from a my first trip to Europe, and I toured many of the major museums. It struck me as funny the way people would literally run up to one of the great masterworks of Western Art and get their picture taken, and the way folks would elbow their way to get as close as possible to the Mona Lisa or Van Gogh's Self Portrait. I think people want, even if just for a few second to be in the presence of greatness. Standing in front of the Mona Lisa is as close as you will ev ...more
Feb 08, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so conflicted about how to rate this book: some of the stories were definitely 5 star quality, while others I would rate at a 2 or 3.
In the end, I decided that the great stories outweighed the meh stories, and so it got four stars.
The title story, "Homeland" is extrememly good, although my favorites were "Covered Bridges" and "Rose Johnny"
A theme of these stories is an "incomplete" or sort of abrupt ending. At first, this bothered me, until I realized it's a perfect statement about life
Oct 27, 2007 Alina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who can pick up on the subtle things
I recommend this to those who can pick up on the subtle things as many of these stories are more impressions or snapshots of life -- what people are like, how they feel, what they want, etc -- rather than big, exciting plots.

This book was lovely. I could relate to every single character in this book, be they young, old, man, woman, happy, miserable, and so on. Kingsolver's writing is so poetic while conveying such REALITY. I am full of admiration for her as a writer and have yet to find anything
May 28, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting collection of short stories that introduce the reader to women in a variety of situations and at various stages of life. Kingsolver has a fine ear for dialog and seems able to dive straight to the heart of all manner of issues that confront our understanding of what it means to be a woman. Each of these women proves heroic in some small way and her remarkable ability to draw us into the story is on brilliant display. This reader came to care about each of these women in some f ...more
Susan Emmet
Apr 15, 2011 Susan Emmet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Glad to return to an older Kingsolver book. Fine stories all, set in places like CA, Kentucky and St. Lucia. Mostly female protagonists and narrators. Mostly about complex women of various ages who face up and 'fess up to challenge and change. Especially liked "Blueprints," "Bereaved Apartments,"Jump-up Day," and "Why I Am A Danger To The Public." I love the way K. weaves in place, time, nature, and the ties that bind us despite our differences.
Aug 31, 2014 Lorraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short stories all have women as the protagonist. What makes the book interesting is the variety of characters. Kingsolver portrays people as diverse as a native matriarch,couples at various stages of their marriages who have lost the ability to communicate or trust, a single mom,a union supporter. Unconventional women,ordinary women, but all strong women. Her stories made me wish that she had written a novel about each one; I wanted to get to know them better and see them in m ...more
If I were teaching a fiction workshop to undergraduates, I think this would have to be on my reading list. Kingsolver waltzes with those story components so gracefully and each story has range; the reader does not feel as if she is reading the same story with slight shifts. With each story, I felt comfortable with it as a whole entity, though with many, I wish there were more, wanting to live in that world a bit longer.

The only issue I took were a good handful of her endings--they felt as if sh
Apr 15, 2012 Ayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, Barbara Kingsolver does not disappoint. While I prefer her novels over short stories, this collection of stories was special. Her writing is lovely, as usual, and over the course of these twelve stories, she touches on topics that any human could related to. I chose to read this book during a time when I was working hard in a storage unit, sorting through 50 years-worth of my mother's and father's possessions. It was physically- and emotionally-draining work, and I wanted to come hom ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect this book. I read Prodigal Summer years ago, but this book is entirely different. Fifty percent percent of the stories are awesome. The rest are interesting but nothing stunning. The thing that is impressive about this book is the range of voices. As a collection of short stories it showcased Kingsolvers' ability to write convincingly from lots of different perspectives: the Latina strikebreaker, the white trash theif, the unhappily married woman - all female voices from differen ...more
Oct 20, 2010 Jillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, another leap of faith I took on a Barbara Kingsolver piece. Not usually a short story reader but I had to try. Not my favorite of hers but just as satisfying as her other works.

What I found most amazing about this collection of short stories was how raw and loud her political and social voice came through in these stories. More so than her novels. This would make sense since one has less time in which to lull the reader into a sense of what you the writer are trying to say so the message
It's always difficult to rate a collection like this. I feel like four stars is an insult to the awesomeness of the several stories I loved, stories that I will return to again and again--both as a writer and a teacher of writing. Still, I can't in good conscience give the whole book five stars--it wouldn't be fair to my favorite stories to imply that the less-great stories could hang with them.

Regardless of ratings, Kingsolver is a gifted short story writer. I'm surprised this is her only shor
Jul 22, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So excited to see how this goes... is Barbara Kingsolver even capable of short stories?

Wonderful characters, not surprisingly. Is it weird to say that my biggest complaint was that I would get to love the characters then on to the next story? Sorry, Barbara, but you do that to me. Every story was so unique, I really enjoyed each. The main characters were pretty much always women (no surprise there). But I still feel weird reading short Kingsolver stories. There was this one very small character
Dec 15, 2011 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I'm not a huge fan of short stories, if the author is Kingsolver they're going to be good. These particular tales revolve around the theme of family. Especially good was "Bereaved Apartments', about an elderly woman with antique treasures who thinks someone has broken into her home over 100 times and damaged or stolen her belongings. Kingsolver doesn't really resolve (no pun intended)her stories so much is left up to the reader to imagine. Sometimes I like that, and sometimes I want it all ...more
Susie Turk
Aug 28, 2014 Susie Turk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine picking up a novel and randomly picking 20 pages and reading them. That's what every story in this compilation was like. I did not have any context on the characters and consequently did not care about any of them. It seemed like there could be a tied between the stories with two characters that make and sell pottery and jewelry. Even those character lines were so poorly developed that I couldn't understand what the point of those two were. When each story ended, I had to flip back to en ...more
May 20, 2010 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subtlety is Kingsolver's strength, and she does it especially well in short stories. I didn't care for all the stories in this collection, though all were enjoyable. It particularly appealed to me because Kingsolver chose to concentrate on people in small towns, and she must have lived in one herself, because her detailed nuances of personalities and relationships were completely accurate. My favorites were the title story, Islands on the Moon, and Why I am a Danger to the Public.
Feb 15, 2012 Lorraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure about this, but I needed something different after all the fantasy and science fiction I've been reading. I haven't read much Kingsolver, and it's been a while since I tackled a short story collection, but I really enjoyed this one. It is such an interesting mix of stories and characters that all somehow seem to fit together--like you could find some connecting line if you looked hard enough. It got me excited about reading short stories again.
May 18, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm usually not a fan of short stories, but I have to admit I enjoyed this book a lot.

I rated it only 4 stars because most of the stories left me with a feeling of having (needing!!) to know more- how the subjects dealt with their traumatic events, what they went on to do next, how their lives turned out, etc. (especially in the case of the last story in this book!), but I feel that way with a lot of the books I've read.
Karen deVries
Jan 08, 2013 Karen deVries rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love pretty much everything Kingsolver does, and this book of short stories is no exception. It was put together at an early point in her career, so it's not as hard-hitting as her later stuff, but it's still solid. I read it years ago, and I just re-engaged with it. This time around, I was able to see a lot of the connective themes that become more explicit in her later work. Great stuff.
Mar 12, 2010 Alyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more Kingsolver I read, the more I appreciate her words and feel inspired to put my own down on paper. This collection is obviously some of her earlier work, as a few pieces end rather abruptly and inconclusively. The evolution of her writing is evident, although I still find her non-fiction more compelling, fluid, and mesmerizing than her fictional contributions.
I feel like I have read 12 different exquisite novels. This is good, really good, great writing. I took my time, savoring each and every one, with other reading in between stories. I still recall in ninth grade of high school, discovering short stories in a class. Where we learned of Poe, basically the inventor of the short story, where it could be read "in one sitting." Short stories are such an art, and so much more than just a shorter form of the novel. Kingsolver is obviously a master of thi ...more
Jun 26, 2015 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
To be fair, I only read half of the short stories in this book, so maybe the last 6 short stories would have raised my rating, but I kind of doubt it. Also to be fair, I think I may just not enjoy short story compilations in general. I either need shorter stories (more like anecdotes...) or longer stories that allow me to get to know characters more fully. I found this book on the shelf at the beach rental last weekend and dove into it to be able to mark off "Read a book of short stories" on my ...more
Carol Foisset
Apr 27, 2013 Carol Foisset rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glad I read this after being disappointed in "Flight Behavior". It reminded me of why I fell in love with Barbara Kingsolver's writing. Very powerful short stories. It amazes me how she can create such rich characters that you care so much about in just a few pages. Many of her "gems of insight and wisdom" in these stories.
Aug 22, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Like all of Kingsolver's work, this book was lyrically stunning. The voice in each of her short stories, like her novels, is unique and fresh. "Homeland", "Rose-Johnny", "Covered Bridges" and "Why I am a Danger to the Public" were my favorite stories.
Jan 12, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is some of my favorite writing by Kingsolver so far. To be honest, I cam real close to rating this book a five. The stories just hit me as some of the most honest writing I've seen of hers, good writing too. I'm glad I picked this one up.
Jul 01, 2014 Gretchen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors. Ever. The Bean Trees is one I revisit over and over and over. If you've only read her later work (Poisonwood Bible and after), those are still excellent, but they don't resonate with me as much as her earlier work, which focuses much more on the themes of being in your 20s and an independent woman figuring out it's almost impossible to be truly independent. (Also Kentucky usually figures in somehow, mostly as a discarded homeland). These stories ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Poisonwood Bible I was anxious to read more Kingsolver and was unaware that she had written short stories. I love a good short story. I'm always impressed by how a great writer can make me come to care for characters in so few pages. As with any collection of stories, some are better than others in this book but overall I still like her writing style. The stories that focus on relationships, romantic or otherwise, are particularly authentic and worth contemplating in terms of your ...more
Alex Rogers
I love Kingsolver's writing, she is one of my favourite authors. But I probably wouldn't have picked it up if I'd realised it was short stories (my edition didn't have "and other stories" in the title) as I'm not a huge fan of the form. But it was a good collection, mostly of a time & place so I didn't evern realise until well into the second story that it was not part of the same book! And her writing is exceptional, so despite the format, I did enjoy it. Still, any one of those stories cou ...more
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Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist, and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in Africa in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in Biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her most famous works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, ...more
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