Kristen Iversen

Kristen Iversen grew up in Colorado and writes literary nonfiction and fiction. Two-time winner of the Colorado Book Award, her books include Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats; Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth; Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction; and a forthcoming literary biography of Nikola Tesla. She is also editor of the anthology Doom with a View and co-editor of the anthology Don't Look Now: Things We Wish We Hadn’t Seen. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Hotel Amerika, The American Scholar, and others. Full Body Burden has been chosen by more than 30 universities around the country for their Common Read/First Year Experience programs and is the subject of a forthcoming documentary. It has also been optioned for a major tv series. READ MORE

"Profoundly shocking"

“Beautifully fuses Iversen's personal saga of maturation with the profoundly shocking history of the Rocky Flats site that few bothered to inform themselves about . . . a beautiful memoir that recognizes the inevitable intrusion of greater social forces in all our lives and the risk we take in ignoring them.”

Denver Post

"Intimate… Powerful…"

“Intimate…Powerful…A potent examination of the dangers of secrecy…A serious and alarming book [that] has its share of charming moments.”

—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"Exquisitely researched"

“Gripping…exquisitely researched…A superbly crafted tale of Cold War America’s dark underside.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Personal and powerful"

“One of the most important stories of the nuclear era—as personal and powerful as Silkwood, told with the suspense and narrative drive of The Hot Zone. With unflinching honesty, Kristen Iversen has written an intimate and deeply human memoir that shows why we should all be concerned about nuclear safety, and the dangers of ignoring science in the name of national security . . . an essential and unforgettable book.”

—REBECCA SKLOOT, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

"Powerful and beautiful"

“The fight over Rocky Flats was and is a paradigmatic American battle, of corporate and government power set against the bravery and anger of normal people. This is a powerful and beautiful account, of great use to all of us who will fight the battles that lie ahead.”

—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Falter

"Tremen­dous sus­pense"

“In this powerful work of research and personal testimony, Iversen chronicles the story of America’s willfully blinkered relationship to the nuclear weapons industry through the haunting experience of her own family in Colorado…The grief was ongoing, as Iversen renders in her masterly use of the present tense, conveying tremendous suspense and impressive control of her material.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Shocking and infuriating"

“Iversen seems to have been destined to write this shocking and infuriating story of a glorious land and a trusting citizenry poisoned by Cold War militarism and ‘hot’ contamination, secrets and lies, greed and denial….News stories come and go. It takes a book of this exceptional caliber to focus our attention and marshal our collective commitment to preventing future nuclear horrors.”

Booklist (starred review)

"Terrifyingly brilliant"

“This terrifyingly brilliant book - as perfectly crafted and meticulously assembled as the nuclear bomb triggers that lie at its core - is a savage indictment of the American strategic weapons industry, both haunting in its power, and yet wonderfully, charmingly human as a memoir of growing up in the Atomic Age.”

—SIMON WINCHESTER, author of The Professor and the Madman and Atlantic.

Can we see into another place

In this thought-provoking, multi-genre anthology, editor Andrea Rexilius gathers some of Denver's most inspiring literary voices to explore the nuances of social justice with unflinching candor. Through comic panels, short stories, nonfiction essays, plays and poetry, the collection beautifully illustrates how the written word, in all its forms, can impart healing and empower readers to seek social change.

Contributors include: Olivia Abtahi, R. Alan Brooks, Steven Dunn, Carolina Ebeid, Steven Cole Hughes, Kristen Iversen, Traci L. Jones, Tarashea Nesbit, Lori Ostlund, Khadijah Queen, Jenny Shank, Suzi Q. Smith, Christine Sneed, Mathangi Subramanian, Addie Tsai, Denise Vega, Rachel Weaver, Erika T. Wurth, David Heska, Wanbli Weiden

More About We Can See into Another Place
Dont look now paperback

Book Launch Event & Contributor Bios

Would that our memories were self-selecting. But often what we remember most, or most vividly, what has stayed with us as old familiars or problematic parts of our personal image repertoire, are those moments, those tableaus, that caught us unawares, that in short: we wish we hadn’t seen but have never been able to shake. These scenes, slowly enfolding us like bad dreams or flying by like trains on elevated platforms, demand we reach some kind of accommodation with them, make peace or make sense or make amends. The one thing they insist with certainty: they cannot, will not be unseen. This group of prominent American writers tries to come to grips with obsessive memory, the uncanny and bad dreams.

More About Don’t Look Now