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==Personal life==
Kingsolver was born in [[Annapolis, Maryland]], in 1955 and grew up in [[Carlisle, Kentucky]].<ref name="Novel as Indictment"/><ref name="At Lunch">{{cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1993/09/01/garden/at-lunch-with-barbara-kingsolver-termites-are-interesting-but-books-sell-better.html?pagewanted=2|title=At Lunch With Barbara Kingsolver|last=Lyall|first=Sarah|format=interview|work=The New York Times|publisher=The New York Times Company|date=September 1, 1993|accessdate=May 3, 2010}}</ref> When Kingsolver was seven years old, her father, a physician, took the family to [[Kinshasa|Léopoldville]], [[Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville)|Congo]] (now the[[Kinshasa]], [[Democratic Republic of the Congo]]). Her parents worked in a public health capacity, and the family lived without electricity or running water.<ref name="Novel as Indictment">{{Citation|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/11/magazine/the-novel-as-indictment.html?scp=4&sq=Poisonwood%20Bible&st=cse|title=The Novel as Indictment|last=Kerr|first=Sarah| work=The New York Times|publisher=The New York Times Company|date=October 11, 1988|accessdate=May 3, 2010}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|first=Ellen|last=Kanner|title=Barbara Kingsolver turns to her past to understand the present|date=November 1998|url=http://www.bookpage.com/books-5367-The+Poisonwood+Bible|archive-url=https://archive.is/20120721120202/http://www.bookpage.com/books-5367-The+Poisonwood+Bible|dead-url=yes|archive-date=2012-07-21|accessdate=May 3, 2010}}</ref>
 
After graduating from high school, Kingsolver attended [[DePauw University]] in [[Greencastle, Indiana]], on a music scholarship, studying [[classical piano]]. Eventually, however, she changed her major to biology when she realized that "classical pianists compete for six job openings a year, and the rest of [them] get to play <nowiki>'</nowiki>[[Blue Moon (song)|Blue Moon]]<nowiki>'</nowiki> in a hotel lobby".<ref name="At Lunch"/> She was involved in activism on her campus, and took part in protests against the [[Vietnam war]].<ref name="Novel as Indictment"/> She graduated [[Phi Beta Kappa]]<ref>{{cite book|last1=Snodgrass|first1=Mary Ellen|title=Barbara Kingsolver: A Literary Companion|date=2004|publisher=McFarland|isbn=9781476611174|page=13|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=dAsyBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=Barbara+Kingsolver+phi+beta+kappa&source=bl&ots=2wK5M-1dm0&sig=fMpPpjeQ2QGnH_zNi0WCXIC0F2o&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwit3cuVueHUAhUE8j4KHdq3CVMQ6AEIQDAE#v=onepage&q=Barbara%20Kingsolver%20phi%20beta%20kappa&f=false|language=en}}</ref> with a Bachelor of Science in 1977, and moved to France for a year before settling in Tucson, Arizona, where she lived for much of the next two decades. In 1980, she enrolled in graduate school at the University of Arizona,<ref name="At Lunch"/> where she earned a master's degree in [[ecology]] and [[evolutionary biology]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.st-charles.lib.il.us/readers_service/bios/kingsolver.htm |title=Barbara Kingsolver profile |work=St Charles Public Library |date=February 2010 |accessdate=May 18, 2010 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110615125302/http://www.st-charles.lib.il.us/readers_service/bios/kingsolver.htm |archivedate=June 15, 2011 }}</ref><ref name="Listen Here">{{cite book|title=Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia|last=Ballard|first=Sandra L.|year= 2003 |publisher= The University Press of Kentucky |location=Kentucky |isbn= 978-0-8131-9066-2|pages=330–31|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=i090MbNYlIYC&pg=PA330|accessdate=May 25, 2010}}</ref>