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Kim Edwards Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Memory Keeper's Daughter (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lake of Dreams (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Secrets of a Fire King (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Ploughshares Fall 1990(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
12 Short Stories and Their Making: An Anthology with Interviews(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dedicated to the People of Darfur(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kim Edwards is a bestselling literary fiction author that spent her childhood in Skaneateles, New York. It was a small town in upstate New York smack in the middle of the Finger Lakes region.

Kim was born the last of four siblings and attended the Univerity of Iowa and Colgate University from where she got her MA in Linguistics and an MFA in fiction. Following her graduation from university, she got married and the new couple headed to Asia.

In Asia, she spent half a decade teaching on the remote coasts of Malaysia. She would then move to a small rural city about an hour from Tokyo before finally moving to the small Cambodian town of Phnom Penh.
She published her first work of fiction in 1997 but it was not until she published the 2005 work “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” that she really came into her own.

It was during her time in Asia that Kim Edwards got interested in short fiction. In 1990, she won the Nelson Algren Award for her short fiction work “Sky Juice.”

Her essays and short stories have since been featured in a wide range of periodicals including the likes of “The Paris Review,” “Ploughshares,” “Story,” “Anteaus,” and “Zoetrope.”

She has also won many honors for her work including a Pushcart Prize, an award for Excellence in Fiction by the National Magazine in addition to some of her work being featured in the Best American Short Stories.
Two of Edwards’ works have been broadcast on Public Radio International and have been performed at Symphony Space. The author has also received support and endorsement from the Kentucky Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The Secrets of a Fire King” made the shortlist for the prestigious Hemingway/PEN Award in 1998. Edwards also won the 2002 Whiting Writers’ Award. Aside from writing Kim has also taught MFA programs at Washington University, Warren Wilson, and The University of Kentucky.

Her works have been published in countries all over Europe, the Middle East, and South East Asia.

Kim Edwards has always maintained that she lives a very ordinary life even as a stay-at-home mother and author.

She usually wakes up by dropping off her kids at school and when she gets back, she reads over what she wrote the previous day and then tries to get into a receptive and contemplative space.
She will usually aim for about 1000 words a day but sometimes can go over that if she catches a train of inspiration.

Edwards has said that she has been influenced by the likes of Virginia Woolf, Anton Chekhov, Alice Munro, and William Trevor for their use of poetic language and character.

During the writing of her first novel “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter,” she read classics such as “The Scarlet Letter,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

“The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” by Kim Edwards is a work set in 1964 on a cold wintry night where Dr. David Henry has to deliver his own twins.

The firstborn is perfectly healthy but he immediately notices that his daughter has Down’s Syndrome. He rationalizes that he has to protect his wife Norah and makes a decision that will surely change all their lives forever.

He instructs his nurse to deliver the child to an institution and never speak of it again. But the nurse finds it impossible to just abandon the infant and takes it with her as she disappears and heads to another city to raise it on her own.
This is the start of a story that happens over more than twenty-five years in which the two families are bound by a single decision, but remain ignorant of each other’s lives.
Norah Henry believes that her child died at birth and is still inconsolable and this has weighed down on her marriage since. Paul the firstborn child has had to raise himself as he grows up in a house that is cold with a mourning mother.

Meanwhile, the lost daughter has blossomed into a vibrant young woman who gets so much love from her adopted mother than she would ever have from her own mother.

Kim Edwards’s novel “The Lake of Dreams” is the story of Lucy Jarree a woman that has spent several years living overseas.

In recent times she has been living with Yoshi her partner in Japan but has been feeling unsettled and is looking for a new direction in life.

When she learns that her mother had been involved in a minor accident she heads to The Lake of Dreams her hometown. It is there that she starts thinking about the mysterious death of her father a few years past.

While she was walking on the grounds of the family home one night, she was struck by insomnia, she stumbled upon items that turn out to be family papers and heirlooms.

They contain information relating to suffragettes that offer clues into the past that go back several hundred years.

From the papers, she learns about a whole range of topics that are related to women’s suffrage in the earlier years of the fight for women’s rights.

She also learns about relatives she never imagined she had and the history of the beautiful stained glass windows on the local chapel that is currently being threatened by destruction by money-hungry developers.

Moreover, she encounters Keegan her long-lost love from high school forcing her to confront her future and her feelings.

“The Secrets of a Fire King” is a different kind of work from what Kim Edwards usually writes. The work includes thirteen short stories that are somewhat creepy but overall very impressive.
Similar to folktales, each work has a lesson that readers need to learn from even if they all need a lot of interpretation since for the most part things are hinted at or alluded to.

One of the best stories in the collection has to be “A Gleaming in the Darkness.” This tells the story of a cleaner charged with keeping a scientific lab spotless that idolizes Marie Curie the owner.
The cleaner usually spends her nights playing and fiddling with Marie’s concoctions purely out of curiosity. There are many other great stories in the work and most of them share a common genre and theme that links them all together.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kim Edwards

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