Denise Kiernan New York Times bestselling author of The Girls of Atomic City and The Last Castle

About the Author

Denise Kiernan is an author, journalist, and producer and has been working as a writer for more than 20 years. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, Ms. Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Discover, and many more publications. She has also worked in television, serving as head writer for ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire during its Emmy award-winning first season and has produced for media outlets such as ESPN and MSNBC.

Her last two books—The Last Castle and The Girls of Atomic City—were both instant New York Times bestsellers in both hardcover and paperback. The Last Castle was also a Wall Street Journal bestseller, a finalist for the 2018 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. The Girls of Atomic City was also a Los Angeles Times and NPR bestseller, was named one of Amazon’s “Top 100 Best Books of 2013,” and is now available in seven languages. It was also awarded the 2014 American Political Science Association’s Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book published in the United States on government, politics, or international affairs.

Kiernan has also co-authored several popular history titles including Signing Their Lives Away, Signing Their Rights Away, and Stuff Every American Should Know. Throughout her career, Kiernan has been a featured guest on many radio and television shows, including NPR’s Weekend Edition, PBS NewsHour, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She lives in North Carolina.


Suggested Topics

  • The Last Castle: The True Story Behind the Nation’s Largest Home
  • The Girls of Atomic City: Life in a Secret City of the Manhattan Project
  • Grit & Grace: Feminist Inspiration from the Gilded Age to the Atomic Age
  • Book Proposal Boot Camp: Researching, writing and publishing narrative nonfiction in today’s market

Raves and Reviews

I love these kinds of books, and this is a great one….a phenomenal story…”

— Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

The Last Castle, with its engaging narrative and array of detail, allows us to pay a visit [to] one of American history’s most stately pleasure domes… She brings the place to life…”

The Wall Street Journal

Denise Kiernan recreates, with cinematic vividness and clarity, the surreal Orwell-meets-Margaret Atwood environment of Oak Ridge…”

The Daily Beast

The book’s vitality lies in the details…”

The New York Times Book Review

Certainly the timeline, the science, the major military and political players, and so on are well known. But it has taken an astute woman writer to tell the story in a whole new way. Thanks to author Kiernan, we hear from a group of that generation’s women, now in their eighties and nineties, whose wartime experience matched no one else’s. Ever. Anywhere.”

 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

An inspiring account of how people can respond with their best when called upon.”

 Kirkus Reviews

In the Media


Books by Denise Kiernan

The Girls of Atomic City
The Last Castle

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