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The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit
  

The Wives of Los Alamos

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Whether you love this book or not will mostly be predicated by whether you can cope with the author’s unusual narrative voice. Rather than picking a singular story, Nesbitt really does seek to collectively deliver this story of the wives of the scientists who were gathered by the US military in Los Alamos to develop the atom bomb. Written throughout in the collective ‘we’ she shares and weaves every family’s story into one till the effect of it becomes something like a Greek chorus which is ultimately rather fitting for the fairly ordinary lives of people who were at the birth of arguably our most life changing invention.

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Synopsis

The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit

Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London and Chicago - and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship in the desolate military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with a P.O. Box for an address, in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of 'the project' that didn't exist as far as the greater world was concerned. They were constrained by the words they couldn't say out loud, the letters they couldn't send home, the freedom they didn't have. Though they were strangers, they joined together - babies were born, friendships were forged, children grew up. But then 'the project' was unleashed and even bigger challenges faced the women of Los Alamos, as they struggled with the burden of their contribution towards the creation of the most destructive force in mankind's history - the atomic bomb.

Reviews

In this fascinating and artful debut, TaraShea Nesbit gives voice to the women closest to one of gravest and most telling moments in our collective history: the development and testing of the nuclear bomb at Los Alamos. Tender and mundane details of marriage and domesticity quietly collide with the covert and solemn work at hand. With chilling implications and charged, sure-footed prose, this is a novel - and writer - of consequence Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife Hypnotic and filled with elegiac details; Nesbit offers fascinating and disturbing insight into the secret life of the Los Alamos families - Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles

I am in awe of this novel. TaraShea Nesbit's brave and brilliant choice of point of view for these women living inside their earth-shattering secret crucible brings home to us in the fullest way possible that our personal story is never just ours. The Wives of Los Alamos will be read and re-read and remembered - Gail Godwin, author of Flora


About the Author

TaraShea Nesbit teaches creative writing and literature courses at the University of Denver and the University of Washington in Tacoma. A graduate of the MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis, TaraShea is currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Denver, where she is a Presidential Fellow.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

TaraShea Nesbit

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Author's Website

tarasheanesbit.com/

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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
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ISBN

9781408845998

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