WHO: Kim Barnes
IN THE KINGDOM OF MEN, a novel
Published by Knopf May 29, 2012
WHERE: AUTHOR TOUR: Idaho, Montana, Portland, Seattle
“A veritable Mad Men of the desert, with the depth of a Graham Greene novel.
“A enrapturing novel about a tough, fearless Oklahoma girl raised with religious austerity and misogyny, who finds herself living in a luxurious yet oppressive American oil company enclave in 1970 in Saudi Arabia.
“As a girl, Virginia, called Gin, hides the forbidden books she loves. As a teen, she gets pregnant. Honest, fair Mason promptly shelves his college plans, marries her, and goes to work on a Houston oil rig, which secures them a ticket to country-club-like Abqaig. There this radiantly attractive, generous, yet sorrowful couple runs afoul of the oil company’s harsh prohibitions against treating Arabs as equals and of Muslim restrictions for women, all of which baffle and enrage Gin…
“Barnes animates a magnetizing cast of cosmopolitan characters, dramatizes cultural contrasts and sexual tension, and brings this intense and compassionate novel of corporate imperialism, prejudice, corruption, and yearning to such gorgeously vivid, suspenseful life that the story’s darkness is perfectly balanced by the keen wit and blazing pleasure of its telling.”
—Donna Seaman, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“An extraordinary adventure.
An immersive and bracing exploration of one woman’s search for freedom amid repression…Barnes deftly teases humanity out of corruption and hypocrisy, and her language is finely wrought and her pacing masterful.”
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, in a starred review
Sara Eagle | 212-572-2035 | email@example.com