Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

(In Person Full) (Hybrid) Marquee Event: Dickens in Appalachia with Barbara Kingsolver

Thu February 8 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30

International bestseller Barbara Kingsolver joins us at the Library to discuss her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Demon Copperhead.

Evenings with an Author at the American Library in Paris is thrilled to continue our marquee series spotlighting exceptional thinkers of our age. Join Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Kingsolver to discuss narrating Appalachia.

Barbara Kingsolver first rocketed to literary fame with her 1998 novel The Poisonwood Bible. Over the past year, she has swept the global literary marketplace yet again with the release of her new novel, Demon Copperhead, a spirited retelling of Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield.  Kingsolver draws energy from Dickens’s beloved plot and characters, but with a crucial difference: her setting is not Dickens’s London, but contemporary Appalachia–specifically, the mountains of southwest Virginia.  Like Dickens’s novel before it, Demon Copperhead confronts and condemns a range of social problems.  Kingsolver’s targets include the opioid crisis, the foster care system, and the economic abandonment of Appalachia.  Demon Copperhead offers a vivid portrayal of rural American life, reclaiming hero status for a region that is often ignored or disparaged in American film, television, and literature.

Please note that in-person registration is now full. Online registration is still available and free of charge. 

Learn more

Kingsolver has won widespread praise for the strong voice of her protagonist and first-person narrator, Damon Fields (nicknamed “Demon Copperhead).  Read the opening paragraphs of the novel here.   

The New York Times published a profile on Kingsolver and her work in 2022.  Read it here.

About the speaker:

Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955, and grew up in rural Kentucky. She earned degrees in biology from DePauw University and the University of Arizona, and has worked as a freelance writer and author since 1985. At various times in her adult life she has lived in England, France, and the Canary Islands, and has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico, and South America. She spent two decades in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to southwestern Virginia where she currently resides. 

Demon Copperhead was named an Oprah Book Club selection immediately upon publication, and in 2023 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Demon Copperhead also received Britain’s prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), making Kingsolver the first author in the history of the prize to receive the award twice.

Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, the nation’s largest prize for an unpublished first novel, which since 1998 has helped to establish the careers of more than a half dozen new literary voices. Through a recent agreement, the prize has now become the PEN / Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.  

Since June 2004, Barbara and her family have lived on a farm in southern Appalachia, where they raise an extensive vegetable garden and Icelandic sheep.

Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Kingsolver will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.

Attendance at this event constitutes permission for your photograph or video to be taken at the event and used by the American Library in Paris for marketing, promotional, pedagogical, or other purposes.

Register for this event

Copies of Demon Copperhead will be available for purchase at the Library in the week leading up to this event and while the event takes place, generously provided by Smith&Son. All sales support this local independent bookstore.


Thu February 8
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
Event Categories:
Watch Now
(In Person Full) (Hybrid) Marquee Event: Dickens in Appalachia with Barbara Kingsolver
We take your privacy and the protection of your personal data very seriously. This website is GDPR compliant, uses only essential cookies that are necessary to function, and does not use cookies that collect or store data about you or your device. By using this website, you agree to our Data Protection Policy.