Denise Kiernan

New York Times Bestselling author of The Girls of Atomic City

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About Denise Kiernan

Denise Kiernan is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Girls of Atomic City (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), the true story of young women living in a secret government city during World War II while unknowingly working on the first atomic bomb.

In one of her most popular talks, Kiernan takes audiences back in time and into a top-secret world where young women and men lived and worked surrounded by spies and secrecy, forbidden to speak of their work, even to each other, as the United States worked to face the challenges of World War II and the Manhattan Project raced to harness nuclear power. A lively and engaging speaker, Kiernan enthralls audiences with this story of adventure, intrigue, sacrifice and controversy.

Kiernan has been working as a writer for more than 20 years covering a variety of topics. She has been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Ms. Magazine, Saveur and many more national publications. She has also worked in television serving as head writer for ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and has produced for places such as ESPN and MSNBC as well as independent productions. She has authored several popular history titles including Signing Their Lives Away, Signing Their Rights Away and Stuff Every American Should Know (Quirk Books).

Based on her years as a freelancer, she devised a money-management system for independent workers, outlined in The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed (Crown/Random House). She has also co-authored books for athletes, entrepreneurs and actresses. As an author, Kiernan has been a featured guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, PBS NewsHour, NPR Weekend Edition, Morning Joe on MSNBC, The Takeaway on WNYC, The Cycle on MSNBC and many other print and radio outlets.

THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY is a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and NPR Bestseller and was named to Amazon’s Top 100 Best Books of the Year for 2013! Denise is the recipient of the 2014 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award from the American Political Science Association and the 2014 Book Award Citation from the Colonial Dames of America. She serves on the board of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, a not-for-profit group that seeks to preserve nuclear history.

Denise’s latest book, The Last Castledebuted in Fall 2017 and tells the true story of Biltmore House, an epic story of love, loss and American royalty in the nation’s largest home.

She is a shining star: professional, engaging, approachable. In this day and age of the superficial and synthetic personality, Denise Kiernan is the real thing.

- Joel Walker
Education Specialist, National Archives at Atlanta

Speech Topics

  • The Girls of Atomic City: Life in a Secret City of the Manhattan Project
  • Lessons of the Manhattan Project
  • The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home
  • How I Did It: Researching, Writing and Publishing Narrative Nonfiction in Today’s Market
  • Book Proposal Boot Camp

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