Calling Kingsolver a master of "Calamity Writing" in ''[[The New Republic]]'', [[Lee Siegel (cultural critic)|Lee Siegel]] wrote that she offers "the mere appearance of goodness as a substitute for honest art". He also characterized her as an "easy, humorous, competent, syrupy writer [who] has been elevated to the ranks of the greatest political novelists of our time".<ref>{{cite web|first=Lee|last=Siegel|title=Sweet and Low|date=March 21, 1999|website=New Republic|url=|accessdate=June 19, 2016}}</ref><ref>[ Michelle Dean in Slate extends Siegel's assessment],, November 2012; accessed March 16, 2017.</ref>
Kingsolver was criticized for a ''[[Los Angeles Times]]'' opinion piece following the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan in the wake of the [[September 11 attacks]]. She wrote, "I feel like I'm standing on a playground where the little boys are all screaming at each other, 'He started it!' and throwing rocks that keep taking out another eye, another tooth. I keep looking around for somebody's mother to come on the scene saying, 'Boys! Boys! Who started it cannot possibly be the issue here. People are getting hurt." <ref>{{cite web|first=Kingsolver |last=Barbara|title=No Glory in Unjust War on the Weak|date=October 14, 2001|url=|website=LALos Angeles Times|accessdate=June 10, 2016}} (Note: quotation appears on page 2)</ref> One reader cited her essay as an example of the "shabby nihilism of the left." Another wrote, "Kingsolver seemingly believes an insufficient number of us died in New York to warrant our response in Afghanistan." Another reader, however, praised her "loving sentiments." <ref>{{cite web|title=Defending the U.S. Against Barbarism |date=October 20, 2001 |url= |website=LALos Angeles Times |accessdate=June 19, 2016}}</ref> By some accounts, she was "denounced as a traitor," but rebounded from these accusations and wrote about them.<ref>{{cite web|title=How Barbara Kingsolver recovered from a 9/11 backlash |date=November 8, 2009 |website=Herald Scotland|url=|accessdate=June 19, 2016}}</ref>