In the Wilderness

Kim Barnes, Author
Kim Barnes, Author Doubleday Books $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-47820-5
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-385-47821-2
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-307-75884-2
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Barnes here recalls growing up in the '70s as a child in a born-again religious family and her struggles between her faith and her need for acceptance by her more worldly classmates. Her father was a logger in the Idaho lumber camps, and her earliest memories were of family joy in the forests. But a different kind of wilderness soon enveloped them when her father lost his job and they moved to town, where he worked as a trucker, joined the Pentecostal church and was transformed into a withdrawn, authoritarian figure whose faith required the subservience of his wife and two children. Barnes was an exemplary child until she was 12, when, jealous of the liberties her classmates enjoyed, she entered a secret life of rebellion: questioning her faith's tenets of salvation and damnation, of male authority and female submissiveness; tempted by vanity; confused by her burgeoning sexuality. Her parents discovered her plan to run away and sent her to live with friends whose kindness helped her recapture her faith and return to her family--though not without unresolved conflicts. Nonjudgmental and generous, Barnes's portrait of her parents, the fundamentalist milieu and her own spiritual questing is deeply moving. (May) FYI: This book was the recipient of the 1995 PEN/Jerard Fund Award for a work in progress by an emerging female writer.
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