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  • NYS Writers Institute

Video interview: novelist Stephen Kiernan

NYS Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl interviews journalist and novelist Stephen P. Kiernan in this wide-ranging discussion of writing, the challenges of launching a book during this pandemic, and the extensive research that went into his new novel.

Stephen has published nearly four million words. His newspaper work garnered more than 40 awards — including the George Polk Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment. He is also author of the novels The Curiosity (now in television series development), The Baker's Secret (a regional Indie bestseller), and The Hummingbird. He has also written two nonfiction books, Last Rights and Authentic Patriotism.

"Universe of Two" by Stephen P. Kiernan
"Universe of Two" by Stephen P. Kiernan

His new novel, Universe of Two, was published earlier this month. Here's a summary from the publisher's web site:

"Graduating from Harvard at the height of World War II, brilliant mathematician Charlie Fish is assigned to the Manhattan Project. Working with some of the age’s greatest scientific minds, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Leo Szilard, Charlie is assigned the task of designing and building the detonator of the atomic bomb.

As he performs that work Charlie suffers a crisis of conscience, which his wife, Brenda—unaware of the true nature of Charlie’s top-secret task—mistakes as self-doubt. She urges him to set aside his qualms and continue. Once the bombs strike Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the feelings of culpability devastate him and Brenda."

Born in Newtonville, Stephen graduated from Middlebury College. He received a Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Learn more at: |


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