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kim barnes   book cover  
kim barnes    
author essay: The Way Out

In the Wilderness: an excerpt

author notebook: Why I Wrote In the Wilderness

  In the Wilderness, by Kim Barnes, is a deeply moving and beautifully written memoir about growing up in the wild logging country of Idaho. A recipient of the 1995 PEN/Jerard Fund Award for a work-in-progress, Barnes explores the history of her family, as they flee from dust-bowl Oklahoma and build a new life in Idaho. Her wilderness is also a metaphysical wilderness--the isolation of the woods slowly turns her parents toward Pentecostal Christianity, against which she conducts a painful adolescent rebellion. In the Wilderness documents her attempts to come to terms with her identity both within and without her family, and her eventual return to the beloved woods of her youth.

Bold Type this month features an excerpt from In the Wilderness and an essay reflecting on the sense of place in Barnes' work, as well as an author notebook which explores the motivations which led Barnes to write In the Wilderness.

Photo of Kim Barnes © James Woodcock.

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