WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

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Kim Barnes: "In the Kingdom of Men"

"I'm a barefoot girl from red-dirt Oklahoma, and all the marble floors in the world will never change that." That's the first line in a new novel by award-winning author Kim Barnes. It's the story of a young woman who leaves the dusty farmlands of 1960s Oklahoma to follow her husband to the oil fields of Saudi Arabia where lucrative work awaits. Like her heroine, Barnes grew up dirt poor and in a conservative Christian home. Her family members left this life for jobs in Saudi Arabia. Drawing on their memories and years of research, Barnes writes of a woman coming of age on an American oil compound in Saudi Arabia. She joins Diane to talk about a woman's quest for knowledge in a male-dominated world in her new book, "In the Kingdom of Men."

Read An Excerpt

Excerpt from "In the Kingdom of Men" by Kim Barnes. Copyright 2012 by Kim Barnes. Reprinted here by permission of Knopf. All rights reserved.

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