Fault Lines

Randall is moving away from his living wife. With the reckless, innocent grace of a liberated animal he scrambles toe-and-hands up the face of a huge rock; this must be Africa because none of the trees look right. The two boys are little and hold onto her hands, watching their father. When he straddles the top Randall turns around to wave at the three of them. She’s about to tell him to be careful, but then he jumps off, just jumps on purpose, as if he means to amuse the boys. It’s much too high. His body bounces several times with a dull energy like an old tennis ball. He lies still, and then looks up at her sorrowfully because he knows he’s going to die.

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Barbara Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, received the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work, and in 2010 won Britain’s Orange Prize for The Lacuna. Her novel The Poisonwood Bible was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

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