Pigs in Heaven
|Pigs in Heaven|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback) and audio-CD|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 20|
|LC Classification||PS3561.I496 P54 1993|
|Preceded by||The Bean Trees|
Pigs in Heaven is a 1993 novel by Barbara Kingsolver; it is the sequel to her first novel, The Bean Trees. It continues the story of Taylor Greer and Turtle, her adopted Cherokee daughter. It highlights the strong relationships between mothers and daughters, with special attention given to the customs, history, and present living situation of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. It is Kingsolver's first book to appear on the New York Times Best Seller list. The New York Times Book Review praised Kingsolver's "extravagantly gifted narrative voice" and called the novel a "resounding achievement".
This novel begins two years after the events of Barbara Kingsolver's first novel, The Bean Trees. Taylor and Turtle are visiting the Hoover Dam when Turtle sees a man fall down a spillway. Because of Taylor's unwavering faith that Turtle is telling the truth, a search is conducted and a man's life is saved. As a result, Turtle and Taylor make the headlines and are invited as guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show. A Cherokee lawyer named Annawake Fourkiller sees the broadcast and recognizes Turtle as a child of Cherokee heritage, beginning a campaign under the Indian Child Welfare Act to return Turtle to her birth family and the Cherokee Nation. Afraid of losing Turtle, Taylor leaves home and takes Turtle on the run.
Taylor leaves behind her friend Lou Ann Ruiz (from The Bean Trees) and her new boyfriend Jax, and sets out with Turtle. Her mother, Alice, has left her new husband and joins the pair in Las Vegas. The trio are temporarily joined by Barbie, a waitress obsessed with the dolls of the same name, who appears to be down on her luck but later proves to be a thief and counterfeiter. Alice eventually leaves Taylor, Turtle, and Barbie to visit the Cherokee Nation in person. The others travel to Seattle, where Barbie leaves them. Taylor works a number of jobs, including lingerie sales and hired driving, but has great trouble earning enough money for food, lodging, clothes, and child care.
Annawake lives in the area around Heaven, Oklahoma, a fictional town near Tahlequah. Annawake strongly suspects she knows who Turtle's biological grandfather is. It turns out that Sugar Hornbuckle, who also lives in Heaven and was a friend of Annawake's mother, is second cousin to Alice, and that Alice and Sugar grew up together. Alice has a vague hope of exploring alternatives with Annawake. Meanwhile, Annawake schemes to set up Turtle's true grandfather, Cash Stillwater, with Alice. Eventually, Taylor and Turtle come to Heaven and a compromise is established: custody of Turtle will be shared between Taylor and Cash.
- 1993 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction.
- "And Baby Makes Two". New York Times. 1993-06-27
- "Heaven in Oklahoma PIGS IN HEAVEN, By Barbara Kingsolver. Los Angeles Times. 1993-07-04
- Pigs in Heaven Book Source
- Stomp Dance like that described in the book, recorded in Okmulgee, Oklahoma