Dear Bitches, Smart Authors Podcast

89. An Interview With Author Denise Kiernan

Sarah interviews Denise Kiernan, author of the book The Girls of Atomic City:The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II. This is a nonfiction narrative about the young women from rural towns in the south during WWII who began working at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a secret town where uranium was being enriched for the atom bomb. Most of the people who worked there – many of whom were women just out of high school – had no idea what it was they were doing, but they were determined to do their part to help the war effort. The ways in which these women were approached and recruited, and the lives they lived in Oak Ridge, are fascinating, and the author's research led her to several women who play key roles in the story.

Here is the book we talk about during this podcast:

Book The Girls of Atomic City - Denise Kiernan


Plus, Denise Kiernan mentioned the Tumblr for the photos of Ed Wescott, official photographer of Oak Ridge, TN. You have got to take a look at these photos – they are incredible.



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The music this week was provided by Sassy Outwater, who knows a heaping ton of musicians and finds original music for us for each episode. This week’s music is called “The Naughty Step” and it’s by Peatbog Faeries from their CD Dust. You can find them at their website, or at iTunes.

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  1. 1
    Carol says:

    @ SB Sarah   I’m listening to this most excellent! podcast, and you just mentioned a time travel movie with the security people, but one of the reasons I actually knew something about Oak Ridge was a time-travel story that I’m pretty sure was a category romance. Unfortunately, I can’t remember much else about it. I have a vague feeling that it was in (one of?) the purple colored lines (Intrigue?) and they went back and forth through a cave? Or maybe someone was trying to blow Oak Ridge up and the bomb stuff was in a cave? Bummer, it’s not coming back. So, it’s not your wished-for time travel, but it is time travel, and Oak Ridge and romance.

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:


    Wait, REALLY? Oh my gosh, that’s amazing! LOL – thank you!

  3. 3
    CarrieS says:

    I loved Girls of Atomic City.  Shameless plug:  I reviewed it here:

  4. 4
    kathy cole says:

    That was fascinating – thanks much for the interview.

  5. 5
    Sarita says:

    It was a very interesting interview and sounds like a fascinating book. I must say that it’s a subject it’s hard for me to take a light tone on. I think it’s important both to acknowledge the human side of history, the different perspectives and feelings and stories, and to acknowledge the horrifying end product of the work they did.

  6. 6
    Anna says:

    Holy shit, this is all my catnip.  Just listened to this one (I’m playing catchup with the podcasts right now) and this has to be one of my all-time favourites.  Must buy the book right now!

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