Ten years ago, Barbara Kingsolver published a first novel that is well on its way to becoming a classic work of American fiction. The Bean Trees is a book readers have taken to their hearts. It is now a standard in college literature classes across the nation and has been translated for a readership stretching from Japan to Romania. When it was first published, however, its author was unknown. Word of mouth spread slowly among booksellers, librarians, critics and readers with a passion to share their favorite books. In 'The Bean Trees' they found a spirited protagonist, Taylor Greer, who grew up in poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when Taylor heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time she arrives in Tucson, she has acquired a completely unexpected child and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.