Arab Today, arab today kingdom comes easily in kim barnes\s new oil tale
Last Updated : GMT 16:24:37
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Kingdom comes easily in Kim Barnes\'s new oil tale

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Kingdom comes easily in Kim Barnes\'s new oil tale

Washington - Arabstoday

When a writer sets herself the task of writing about Saudi Arabia from the comfort of her home in Idaho in the US, alarm bells naturally start ringing. But this wasn\'t the usual creative writing exercise. The author was the Pulitzer Prize finalist Kim Barnes and she was intrigued by the stories of her uncle, a roughneck oil worker who went to the kingdom in the 1960s to supervise drilling. He lived - as so many did - in the strange quasi-American suburbia of Aramco\'s compounds. Before long, Barnes had found a narrative in what happens when \"you take a bunch of healthy men and women and fence them up in the middle of the desert\", as one of her characters memorably notes.Honestly, I did want to go to Saudi Arabia,\" she laughs. \"But it became clear that the time and place I was writing about was long gone, that to visit might actually confuse matters.\" What\'s impressive about the result, In the Kingdom of Men, is that you would never know Barnes wrote it from such a distance. Her tale set amid Aramcons (the term for Saudi Aramco expatriates) certainly highlights all the potential for conflicts one might expect when American and Arab cultures collide. But gradually, she started to find ways in which ostensibly opposite lives were in fact remarkably similar. \"You know, the parallels became strangely profound,\" says the 54-year-old author. \"I also grew up in a very isolated environment; my father was a logger so we were very nomadic. I grew up in Pentecostal fundamentalism, which taught separation from the world. I\'m no longer involved in that faith but we weren\'t allowed to cut our hair because it was our veil of modesty. We had to wear long sleeves, collars up to our necks, skirts down to our calves. We were taught silence and submissiveness, that men ruled over women in moral, spiritual and domestic affairs. \"So as I began writing my protagonist Gin, one thing really struck me: as Americans we like to think that our culture has always been so different from the things we read regarding women in Saudi Arabia. But it\'s absolutely not true. The idea that a Saudi woman has to have a male guardian, that she can\'t move freely... all that was completely familiar to me. And in the book, Gin begins to notice the similarities, too.\" Gin McPhee is the book\'s force of nature. She follows her husband to Khobar after a turbulent American upbringing only to find her inquisitive disposition getting the better of her. She\'s drawn into a murky world of institutionalised racism and underhand dealings, all the while trying to treat her Punjabi houseboy Yash as an equal. She risks everything to leave the compound and take photographs during the Six Day War. \"In the context of a woman\'s life almost any adventure story is also a cautionary tale,\" says Barnes, \"and I already have book clubs in the Middle East who are reading the novel and find themselves discussing issues of women, freedom and liberties. I remind them that liberty and personal freedom is not just a women\'s issue - or one that has geographical restrictions.\" This thoughtful approach prevents In the Kingdom of Men from slipping into Arab caricature. If anything, the gossipy Western women are cliched. Instead, Barnes reads voraciously, and quotes everything from Fadia Basrawi\'s famous memoir to Abdelrahman Munif\'s Cities of Salt during our conversation. She cites, with some regret, some research that proves \"no other peoples have been more demonised in film than Arabs\". \"And yet the thing that really gives me hope is the absolute sincerity of the friendship struck up between Aramcons and Saudis, even though it was initially based on issues of colonialisation and racism. So I hope people do take away from this book that what happens in the Middle East is not about a particular religion, corporation or even oil. It\'s about people. All my characters are trying to make sense of their lives, as we all do, every day.\" From : The National.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today kingdom comes easily in kim barnes\s new oil tale Arab Today, arab today kingdom comes easily in kim barnes\s new oil tale

 



Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today kingdom comes easily in kim barnes\s new oil tale Arab Today, arab today kingdom comes easily in kim barnes\s new oil tale

 



Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert calls for short visits

GMT 16:21 2017 Monday ,26 June

Etiquette expert calls for short visits
Arab Today, arab today France defies terrorism through tourism

GMT 15:18 2017 Saturday ,20 May

France defies terrorism through tourism
Arab Today, arab today Mai Al-Jeddawi presents décor ideas for Ramadan
View News in Arabic - Culture: بأقلامهم
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

GMT 09:49 2017 Tuesday ,02 May

Girl barred from Malaysia chess competition

GMT 08:48 2017 Saturday ,06 May

Climate science: Bad news gets worse

GMT 16:25 2017 Sunday ,04 June

“Suhoor” is basic meal for fasting

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 11:09 2017 Sunday ,25 June

HUAWEI P10 the ‘guru’ of portrait shots
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday