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Barbara Kingsolver - The Bean Trees
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Bill Goodman and Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver Talks with Kentucky

aired live Thursday, May 31, 2001 on KET

      KET’s What If All Kentucky Reads the Same Book? project got thousands of Kentuckians reading and discussing Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees. To celebrate the remarkable success of the project, and to give all those readers a chance to hear from the author, KET produced a live call-in with Kingsolver.
      In this exciting KET special, the author discussed The Bean Trees with project participants from across the Commonwealth. Topics for the questions, submitted via e-mail and phone, ranged from specific questions about the book and the characters to Kingsolver’s writing process and how she finds inspiration for her novels.
      The live program was televised from KET’s Lexington studios and three remote locations—one of which was the elementary school in Carlisle, where Kingsolver grew up. English teacher Laura Brown of Nicholas County High School (the author’s alma mater), Nicholas County Public Library Director Becky Reid, and KET Friends Board member Martha Sue Taylor coordinated the Carlisle gathering, which started with a discussion of The Bean Trees. Students from the high school and middle school, as well as Carlisle readers of all ages, attended the event, hosted by KET’s Renee Shaw.
      KET cameras were also in place for gatherings at the Louisville Free Public Library’s Main Library in downtown Louisville and at the studios of WKYU-TV in Bowling Green.
      In the studio, the discussion was led by bookclub@ket host Bill Goodman and the series’ regular panelists. In addition to a question-and-answer session with Kingsolver, the program offered inspiring stories from What If participants around the state. Though focusing primarily on Kingsolver’s first novel, it also briefly addressed her more recent work, including the novel published in fall 2000, Prodigal Summer.

Special Note: As promised in the program, Barbara Kingsolver’s list of favorite books and authors has been posted as part of the Bean Trees entry in the bookclub@ket.

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