Born/raised: Kentucky, with a brief stint in the African Congo.
Family: Husband Steven L. Hopp, an environmental science professor, and daughters Camille and Lily.
Education: Degree in biology from DePauw University, plus master's in evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona.
Early career: Worked as a biologist, journalist and science writer.
Books: Seven novels, two essay collections, a poetry volume and three nonfiction titles.
Awards: National Humanities Medal in 2000, several book awards.
She thanks heaven for: "The delete key."
The trouble with history books: "They measure our history in wars and bloodshed, when they could be doing it by progress."
Origin of Kingsolver name: "I think it's a corruption of a common Portuguese name, nothing to do with kings, alas."
As a pregnant insomniac: Wrote first novel "The Bean Trees" at night in a tiny closet outfitted with a small table and a lamp. She signed with HarperCollins the day after giving birth to Camille.
On Facebook friends: "I hear I have three fake pages and 3,000 fake friends. I prefer the smaller circle of real friends, the kind you can count on to bring casserole after a death in the family."
Hobby: Plays keyboards and hand drums in a band called Rock Bottom Remainders with Stephen King, Amy Tan, Matt Groening and Dave Barry.
Activism: Founded the Bellwether Prize for literature for social change, now in its 10th cycle. Writing an introductory essay for a special issue of National Geographic on water, and working in her own community to get people to commit to consuming fewer natural resources.