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Kim Powers Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Capote in Kansas (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dig Two Graves (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rules for Being Dead (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The History of Swimming (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kim Powers is a literary fiction author best known for his award-winning fiction. His debut work “The History of Swimming,” that was a memoir made the finals for the Best Memoir of the Year by the Lambda Literary Awards and was a Discover Selection at Barnes and Noble. Apart from his nonfiction works, he has also written bestselling literary fiction works including “Capote in Kansas,” that was called an unsparing, sensitive, wise, and riveting tale. According to the New York Times, it is an engrossing and raw novel that offers a beautiful new take on the future of literary fiction. He is also the author of the screenplay for “Finding North,” an independent film that was a festival favorite. He is also the author of one broad comedy, a play based on the life of Vivian Vance that premiered at Cape May State in New Jersey.

Kim has worked in broadcast journalism for more than two decades most of which he spent at ABC News. He still works for ABC where he is a senior writer for “20/20,” the iconic newsmagazine where he has been a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for three consecutive years. His work on 20/20 and Good Morning America has also earned him two Emmy Awards. He has also written scripts for several shows on ABC including primetime specials with Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, and Barbara Walters and the John Quinones’ show “What Would You Do?” Nonetheless, he has asserted that winning the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off at ABC News is one of his proudest achievements. In 2007, he was named in the Out Magazine’s list of 100 most influential LGBTs in the United States. The native Texan went to Austin College for his undergraduate studies before he attended Yale School of Drama for his MFA in creative writing. Kim currently lives in Asbury Park New Jersey and New York City and is married to Jess Goldstein who is an award-winning costume designer.

While he has a background in film and television, he always wanted to become an author. However, he wrote nothing until a mentor set him on course by telling him he had to write something to be a writer. He started writing screenplays and was even lucky enough to have several of them such as “Finding North” made into a film. However, it was his job at Good Morning America that set him on a path to becoming a professional author. While he was still working with GMA, he started penning “The History of Swimming” though he never thought of the end result while he was doing it. However, her love affair with writing started in the third grade when she wrote an autobiographical paragraph about how her mother had taken her to look at a new house she was thinking of buying. But it was from her English teacher who she describes as a hard slave driver and taskmaster that she learned much of what she knows about reading and writing. It was while she was in the seventh grade that she started writing short stories influenced by creepy anthology series such as “Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery.” She believes she got interested in suspense since she started writing screenplays where one had to be economical with everything, yet make sure each scene was appealing and led to the next. Other significant influences included the Nancy Drew Novels, Edward Albee, John Cheever, and Carson McCullers for the sophistication. As for playwrights, she has been influenced by Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams.

“Capote in Kansas” by Kim Powers takes the facts from the real life of Truman Capote and his relationship with Harper Lee, a childhood friend to make an interesting story. Set in 1984, the novel jumps back in time two decades into the past when the Pulitzer winning Harper Lee was working with Capote on some research. They were looking into the Clutter murders having been commissioned by “In Cold Blood.” The story then offers a look into the childhood of Capote and Lee in Alabama, and how the events let to the writing of “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Lee. Capote is drawn with all the hallucinatory frailty and insanity that characterized many of his appearances. The author who claims to have known Harper Lee personally, draws him as a soft-spoken and retiring woman that wishes she had never become famous. Both have to deal with the ghosts of the Clutters that visit them in their dreams even though all they want is to be left alone. They never desired the attention and notoriety that had been driven when Capote decided to do a brilliant retelling of the mysterious murder. Lee also feels guilty for making the life of Boo Radley her neighbor difficult as the telling of the murder stories had made their brother and son a target for ridicule in the community.

“Dig Two Graves” by Powers is the story of Ethan “Herc” Holt. While he made his name as an Olympic medalist, he is now a widowed father and professor trying his best to provide a good life for Skip his daughter. He just got tenure at Canaan on his birthday though he came home to an argument that stretched right into the next morning and into his morning run, where his pissed off daughter abandons him in a huff. When he comes back home later in the day hoping that they can make-up, he finds his daughter gone. When he reports to the police, they are quick to reassure him that teens often skip home and that she will be home in no time. But then the police come to the home to investigate and find the outline of Ethan’s body on her bed, painted in fake blood. The kidnappers are not interested in a ransom and have instead required the father to perform a series of tasks if he wants to see his daughter alive again. The tasks are inspired by the legendary 12 labors of Hercules though they are designed to reenact Ethan’s life story. But the tasks become more complex as the hours tick by, forcing Ethan to push himself to his mental and physical limits. But he still is unable to figure out what fate awaits his daughter as he does not know the identity of the kidnappers.

Kim Powers’ “Rules for Being Dead” is a novel set in the city of McKinney, Texas during the 1960s. At the local drive-in cinemas and downtown theaters, the obsessions and dreams of Clarke a ten-year-old are fed by the likes of Dr. Zhivago, James Bond, Alfie, and My Fair Lady. Clark loves his family, Elvis, Audrey, and the boy who operates the projector booth. Then Clarke’s mother dies and no one wants to tell him or is afraid of telling him how it happened. She is floating above the movie screens and trees trapped between death and life and hoping for one last look at the place she once called home. Clarke needs to find the truth no matter how unpleasant it may be.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kim Powers

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