Girls of Atomic City - Book Tour Report

It’s been going well. Really well. About 150 people showed at our hometown bookstore Malaprop’s Saturday to hear Denise talk. I assumed this would be heavily attended because we live in town, but only about 10% of the crowd were friends and neighbors. Quite a few were former residents of the Atomic City who had come out to hear about the book. One woman made a point of saying in the Q&A portion that she’d brought all her kids so they could hear the story of their heritage. A few other listeners thanked Denise for telling their town’s story. 

I did not expect a bigger crowd in New York, since both writers and publishers have told me that book signings are just not a draw these days in the big town. But the official head count at NYU, Denise’s alma mater, was 300 people. Again, I thought many of these would be my or Denise’s pals, but the majority were NYU alums. Again, as she signed books, Denise heard a lot of them share stories of their connections to the story: one guy had clients in Oak Ridge, another was born there, another woman was the last surviving woman air pilot from WWII, and so on. Yes, the stories got increasingly tenuous, I suppose, but I chalk up the success of this talk to the alum association’s efficiency at getting the word out and people still being fascinated by the lingering secrets of that war.

After, we went with friends to one of our old hangouts. Great to see so many people after all these years. So thanks, Jack, for putting the word out. Thanks Matt and Elisa for coming to the talk. Thanks Karen, Satellite, Jill, Tracey, and everyone else for coming out. Thanks, Drevmo, for the hilarious RSVP’d regrets.

Lunch talk at the National Archives in DC tomorrow.