Demon Copperhead PDF Summary

Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead is a 2022 novel by Barbara Kingsolver that won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction1. It is inspired by the Charles Dickens novel David Copperfield, but set in the contemporary American South, specifically in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia2. The novel tells the story of Damon Fields, also known as Demon Copperhead, a boy born to a teenage single mother in a trailer home.

He has no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival3. The novel follows Demon’s life from his birth to his adulthood, as he faces poverty, foster care, child labor, addiction, love, and loss. He also struggles with his own invisibility in a popular culture that ignores rural people. Along the way, he meets various characters who help or hinder him, some of whom are analogous to those in Dickens’ novel. The novel is narrated by Demon himself in his own unsparing voice, and is praised for its humor, compassion, and social commentary.

About The Author

Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist, and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in Africa in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in Biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her most famous works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a non-fiction account of her family’s attempts to eat locally.


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