About the Book
"The Woman I Left Behind" is a poetically written novel about a turbulent love affair between a young American woman and a Palestinian refugee. When Irene, an intelligent, committed and discerning student meets Khalid, a Palestinian refugee now living in Southern California, she immediately knows that this man would cause her both immense pain and immense joy. Coming from two separate worlds that are at odds with each other, both Irene and Khalid have to overcome their cultural differences. Irene comes to realize that she has to break free from her parents' norms and values and lead a more meaningful life-a life not guided by superficialities but by a sense of commitment and purpose. After opening her eyes not only to the psychological wounds Khalid suffered during his experiences of war, deportation, and exile, but also to her own childhood wounds, Irene abandons her detached self, ultimately leading to a reconciliation with Khalid.
With its detailed depictions of modern Palestinian history, as well as its cast of colorful characters-from Palestinian feminists to American cyberpunks-Kim Jensen's novel reiterates the vital connections between politics, the imagination, and the most intimate aspects of our lives.
Kim Jensen has lived and taught in the Arab world. She has published her work in a variety of journals and magazines. In 2001, she won the Raymond Carver prize for short fiction. Currently, she teaches writing in Baltimore, Maryland.