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The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Wives of Los Alamos

TaraShea Nesbit



Fiction & Literature;
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)


240 pages

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ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- It took me a few chapters to get into this novel, as it is narrated by a collective chorus of voices – the wives of the men involved in the Project at Los Alamos during WWII. Once I had gotten used to the multiplicity of storytellers, I found this thoroughly interesting. The women have come from all over the country, kept ignorant of their husbands’ works and dealing with life in an isolated and isolating place.

From the difficulties of maintaining their families, the jealousies and friendships and hardships of living in a town constructed for one purpose, the need to maintain secrecy and something of their own lives and the many and varied ways they coped (or didn’t) this is an admirable exercise in evoking place and time and experience. Lindy


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.

Contentious, gripping and intimate, The Wives of Los Alamos is a personal tale of one of the most momentous events in our history.

By:   TaraShea Nesbit
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Export/Airside ed
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm, 
Weight:   270g
ISBN:   9781408847824
ISBN 10:   1408847825
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   March 2014
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Out of Print

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.

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 A debut novel that manages to be both intimate and detached and is all the more compelling for that **** RTE Guide

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