The Wives of Los Alamos tells the story of the making of the atomic bomb from the perspective of the scientists’ wives, who did not know what their husbands were building. Their average age was twenty-five. They arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But they were forced to adapt to a secret military town where everything was undisclosed, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with a P.O. box for an address in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of a project that didn’t exist as far as the public knew. Though they were strangers, they joined together—adapting to a landscape as fierce as it was absorbing, full of the banalities of everyday life and the drama of scientific discovery.
The Wives of Los Alamos is a novel that sheds light onto one of the strangest and most monumental research projects in modern history, and a testament to a remarkable group of women who carved out a life for themselves, in spite of the chaos of the war and the shroud of intense secrecy.TaraShea Nesbit’s writing has been featured in the Iowa Review, Quarterly West, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and other literary journals. She teaches creative writing and literature courses at the University of Denver and is the nonfiction editor of Better: Culture & Lit. A graduate of the M.F.A. program at Washington University in St. Louis, TaraShea is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature at the University of Denver. She lives in Boulder.