Walla Walla library to host discussion with Pulitzer Prize nominee Kim Barnes

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WALLA WALLA — Northwest author and Pulitzer Prize nominee Kim Barnes will discuss her latest novel “In the Kingdom of Men,” at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Walla Walla Public Library, 238 E. Alder St.

Barnes grew up in Idaho and now teaches at the University of Idaho and lives on Moscow Mountain with her husband, poet Robert Wrigley.

“In the Kingdom of Men” takes a young couple from the South, during the late 1960s, and sends them to Saudi Arabia to work for Aramco (Arabian American Oil Company). They encounter sexism, racism, corporate colonialism, culture clash, class issues and issues surrounding religion. Does their presence create the issues, or just shed light on them? To what extent is the American oil company’s presence disruptive?

How does the setting of 1967 add to the problems and how would a modern setting be different?

The author bases her story somewhat loosely on the life of her aunt and uncle who worked for Aramco and were stationed in Abqaiq.

The library has 37 copies of the book available to check out. The discussion is free. For more information, call 509-527-4550.

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