Kim Edwards

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Kim Edwards
Born (1958-05-04) May 4, 1958 (age 61)
Killeen, Texas
Alma materColgate University
Iowa Writers' Workshop
Notable worksThe Memory Keeper's Daughter

Kim Edwards (born May 4, 1958)[1] is an American author and educator. She was born in Killeen, Texas, grew up in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, and graduated from Colgate University and The University of Iowa, where she earned an MFA in fiction and an MA in linguistics. She is the author of a story collection, The Secrets of a Fire King, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; her stories have been published in The Paris Review, Story, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, and many other periodicals. She has received many awards for the short story as well, including a Pushcart Prize, the National Magazine Award, the Nelson Algren Award, and inclusion in both The Best American Short Stories and the Symphony Space program ‘Selected Shorts.’ She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, as well as grants from the Pennsylvania and Kentucky Arts Councils, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, her first novel, was a Barnes and Noble Discover Award pick and became a word-of-mouth best-seller, spending 122 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, 20 of those weeks at #1. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter won the Kentucky Literary Award and the British Book Award, and was chosen as Book of the Year for 2006 by USA Today. Her second novel, The Lake of Dreams, an Independent Booksellers pick, was also an international best seller; her work has been published in more than 32 countries. Currently, Kim is working on a new novel, as well as a collection of related stories..

Early life and education[edit]

Edwards was born in Killeen, Texas. When she was two months old, her family moved to upstate New York, where she was raised.[2] Edwards began college at Cayuga Community College. She transferred to Colgate University in 1979, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1981. In 1983, Edwards received a master's degree from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Edwards earned a second master of arts degree in linguistics, also from the University of Iowa, in 1987.[1]


She wrote the short story collection, The Secrets of a Fire King (1997), which was an alternate for the 1998 PEN/Hemingway Award, and has won both a Whiting Award[3] and the Nelson Algren Award.[4]

Edwards teaches writing at the University of Kentucky.[5]

Edwards' 2005 novel, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, was named the 2006 Book of the Year by USA Today.[6] Her most recent novel, The Lake of Dreams, New York Times Bestseller,[7] was published in January 2011.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

Edwards married Thomas Clayton in 1987. Edwards and Clayton, who have two daughters together (Abigail and Naomi), reside in Lexington, Kentucky.[1]



  • The Secrets of a Fire King. WW Norton. 1997. ISBN 978-0-39304-026-5.
    • "The Great Chain of Being," Originally Published in The Paris Review, Issue 120, Fall 1991
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Viking Adult. 2005. ISBN 978-0-67003-416-1.
  • The Lake of Dreams. Viking. 2011. ISBN 978-0-67002-217-5.

Short stories[edit]

  • "Paradise". Ploughshares. Emerson College. Fall 1990.
  • "Aristotle's Lantern". Zoetrope: All-Story. 6 (1). Spring 2002.
  • "In the Garden". Ploughshares. Emerson College. Fall 2003.


  1. ^ a b c "The Way It Felt to Be Falling: Author Biography". eNotes. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Lexington author Kim Edwards begins tour for 'The Lake of Dreams'". Herald-Leader. 4 January 2011. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  3. ^ Whiting Writers Awards Archived 2010-01-05 at the Wayback Machine retrieved May 4, 2010
  4. ^ Good Reads Kim Edwards retrieved May 4, 2010
  5. ^ Penguin Speaker Bureau Kim Edwards retrieved May 4, 2010
  6. ^ "Memory Keeper' is top read of 2006". USA Today. 2006-12-21. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Best Sellers". The New York Times. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  8. ^ Pierleoni, Allen (12 January 2011). "Best-selling author Kim Edwards dreamed of success". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  9. ^ Memmott, Carol (6 January 2011). "Author Kim Edwards goes from 'Memory' to 'Dreams'". USA Today. Retrieved 19 January 2011.

External links[edit]