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Unsheltered


A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.
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Discuss Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver:
Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

Created: 11/12/18

Replies: 11

Posted Nov. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 24

Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

I was interested to read in a Publishers Weekly interview with Kingsolver that the novel's original title was "Unresolved"; she only changed it a week before she handed in the manuscript. I think with that title the book would have seemed to focus more on situations of conflict between characters and ideologies, as well as on the importance of not making your mind up too quickly about people and being open to change. Which title do you prefer?


Posted Nov. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyg

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 30

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

I prefer the Unsheltered title. It takes guts, courage and an open mind to stand “Unsheltered” with your mind and heart ready to open to others’ points of view, to really listen without judgment, ask questions instead of rejection. Have a civil conversation without disrespect. You can see the differences in the responses to the question of three words that describe the book. I fear some may not have read it all and that’s sad!


Posted Nov. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 24

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

I happened to see Kingsolver speak yesterday evening and she mentioned one meaning of "sheltered" that hadn't occurred to me -- naive. So being unsheltered can mean throwing off the unhelpful type of innocence and facing the world as it is.


Posted Nov. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 24

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

And yes, she spoke of the importance of having conversations with, e.g. your neighbors of different beliefs, that don't start with "You idiot"!


Posted Nov. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiad

Join Date: 11/25/12

Posts: 34

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

Unsheltered was and is Perfect! Physical housing was a major problem for Willa. Thatcher's feelings
were "unsheltered" in his occupation as well as his marriage. Lack of empathy, acceptance makes
anyone feel alone.


Posted Nov. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 96

Expert

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

Unsheltered is more poetic and descriptive - that is my preferred title!


Posted Nov. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Wicky

Join Date: 10/31/18

Posts: 7

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

Definitely approve of the change. "Unsheltered" gets at everything this book is about, not just actual physical shelter in the most literal sense (although for that reason alone it works so well). "Unresolved" isn't descriptive and seems needlessly ambiguous. The former intrigues me and makes me want to find out what the title means; the latter makes me think "huh?".


Posted Nov. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 24

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

The direct reason for the change was that another big-name author had a book coming out with the title "Unresolved" -- luckily for us who prefer the final title!


Posted Nov. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sharonj

Join Date: 01/26/17

Posts: 17

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

Unsheltered.... Exposed, vulnerable, from physical houses to old beliefs.


Posted Nov. 27, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rco

Join Date: 11/04/18

Posts: 10

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

Unsheltered for sure. There were numerous ways the characters were unsheltered. From the physical decline of the structures they were living in to the inability to escape the situations they found themselves in. Willa in particular was not sheltered from anything. The house was following apart, she suddenly found herself responsible for a baby, she was coping with her father-in-laws decline, they were in financial instability, she was burdened with everyone's problems. Many things did get resolved by the end of the book and reach a conclusion so I don't think Unresolved would have addressed the core of the book.


Posted Nov. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
patriciag's Gravatar
patriciag

Join Date: 07/11/14

Posts: 24

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

I truly prefer the title Unsheltered. The title captures the characters’ difficult positions both from the past and in the present physically in the crumbling house and mentally in the unstable, precarious circumstances of their lives. There are no places of solid ground; everything is constantly shifting. I found it particularly interesting to find those places where Kingsolver deliberately used the word “unsheltered” in the narrative; for example, referring to Carruth, “He was a supple branch, fleet of foot, motherless, unsheltered.”


Posted Dec. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 30

RE: Kingsolver changed title at the last minute from Unresolved to Unsheltered. Which do you prefer?

Unsheltered is more appropriate because it emphasizes the fact that we are in a world of constant flux and change is the only thing we can be sure of.


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