Thursday, October 01, 2015

[110] ‘Girls of Atomic City’ author plans Monday public talk at MTSU

MURFREESBORO — Author Denise Kiernan, who shared the amazing stories of the women who helped build Oak Ridge, Tennessee — and the atomic bomb — in her captivating bestseller, “The Girls of Atomic City,” will speak at MTSU Monday, Sept. 21.

Kiernan’s free public lecture is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in Room 1006 of the new MTSU Science Building. A searchable campus parking map is available at

“Girls of Atomic City” is a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and NPR Bestseller and was named as one of Amazon's Top 100 Best Books of 2013.

It focuses on the young women — many from Middle Tennessee — who went to Oak Ridge, created in 1942 as one of the Manhattan Project’s “secret cities,” for work, adventure and fun and found themselves smack in the middle of history.

Some of these women, known as “Calutron Girls,” adjusted dials that controlled the workings of the 1,152 calutrons used to separate isotopes of U-235 from naturally occurring uranium, a press release said. The work fueled “Little Boy,” the first nuclear bomb used in warfare.

Kiernan, who lives in Asheville, North Carolina, has been working as a writer for nearly 20 years and has been published in The New York Times, Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, Ms. magazine and other national publications.

She also has worked in television, serving as head writer for ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in its first season, and has produced for ESPN and MSNBC. She’s the author or co-author of several history titles, including “Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence” with her husband, Joseph D’Agnese.

You can learn more about the book and the women who inspired it at There’s also a special photo gallery of the subjects of “Girls of Atomic City” and their environment at

Kiernan’s visit to MTSU is being sponsored by MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts. For more information, contact Connie Huddleston at 615-494-7628 or

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