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The 2021 Spring Read – Cultures in a Common Land Begins with Controversial Work

The first book in the 2021 Spring Read – Cultures in a Common Land will be The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. The book features the journey of a family headed by Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist. Reverend Price leads his wife and four daughters on a mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959, one of the most dramatic political periods in the African country in the past century. The Prices carry everything from garden seeds to Bibles believing they have what they need but finding something very different. The book spans the Congo’s fight for independence, the assassination of the first elected prime minister, political involvement from the US, and a world economic order that robs the Congo of its autonomy. This work explores the intersection of the Price’s religious and spiritual beliefs and those whose background and beliefs are very different. Readers are inspired to question the legitimacy and methods for sharing one’s perspectives in very different worlds.

Kathleen Holt has served High Plains Public Radio—in one way or another—since its inception in 1979. She coordinates the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club.