The Authors

The Authors of An Atomic Love Story


Shilrey-Streshinsky-Author-PortraitShirley Streshinsky


Streshinsky is a novelist, biographer, magazine journalist and travel essayist who has been widely published in the U.S. and abroad. In  September of 2013,  An Atomic Love Story: The Extraordinary Women in Robert Oppenheimer’s Life. co-authored by historian Patricia Klaus, was brought out by Turner Publishing Company, Nashville and New York.

Her first book, the non-fiction And I Alone Survived, with Lauren Elder, was based on the experience of the sole survivor of a small airplane crash in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. It became a television movie. Other non-fiction books include the biography Audubon, Life and Art in the American Wilderness (Villard, New York,  and University of Georgia Press); and Oats! A Book of Whimsy (with Maria Streshinsky, Celestial Arts Press, Berkeley, Ca)

Also this coming fall, the biography Audubon and her four novels with be re-issued by Turner Publishing.  Her historical novels include: The Shores of Paradise, G.P. Putnam’s Sons,; Gift of the Golden Mountain, Villard (Random House) ; A Time Between, G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Hers the Kingdom, G.P. Putnam’s Sons.  All were published in paperback by Berkley; there were several editions in Europe, and three became best sellers.

Since the 1970s, Streshinsky’s long-form journalism has been published in such magazines as Redbook,  the Los Angeles Times magazine,  AARP The Magazine,  American Heritage, Preservation, and The American Scholar..  Her travel stories have appeared in Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Salon  and scores of others newspapers and magazines. Her travel essays have been a feature of  National Public Radio’s Savvy Traveler.

She is the recipient of the Society of Magazine Writer’s Award for Excellence; the National Council for the Advancement of Education Writing award; she was cited by The Educational Press Association of America for “superlative achievement in features.”

Streshinsky is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She was married to the late Ted Streshinsky, a photojournalist with whom she often collaborated. They have three grown children: David, an architect in Laguna Niguel, California; Mark, general director of West Edge Opera company in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Maria Streshinsky, editor-in-chief of Pacific Standard Magazine, Santa Barbara, California.



Patricia Klaus


Patricia Klaus is an independent scholar who attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, and then Stanford University where she earned a Ph.D. in Modern British History. She taught twentieth-century British history at Yale University, was a visiting lecturer at the University of Virginia and Stanford, and has written a number of historical articles. Her particular interests are women in nineteenth and twentieth century England as well as the study of war and literature, which made working on a book about the remarkable women of the Atomic Age especially appealing.

Her love for history and literature is surpassed only by her love of horses and dogs. She left teaching to devote her time to raising her two sons and, later, to Hawkwood Hill Farm, an equestrian facility she owns with her husband, Robin, a business executive. Her son Ian was a Rhodes Scholar and has a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and now serves in the State Department, while Evan has spent the last five years in West Africa working for the Clinton Health Access Initiative. An accomplished equestrian, Patricia has competed in Three-Day-Eventing and Show Jumping. She has maintained her scholarly interests by reading incessantly, researching and editing books for friends and family, as well as serving on the University of California Press Foundation Board of Trustees.

While writing the book Patricia and co-author Shirley Streshinsky often marveled over how the lives of “our women” and others in the book were intertwined. Another of the concurrences is that Patricia’s father (who flew in Burma and China during the war) spent most of his Air Force career flying with the 509th Bomb Wing, whose predecessor the 509th Composite Group had dropped the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Patricia grew up on Strategic Air Command bases in North Africa and Roswell, New Mexico, some 100 miles from the Trinity Test site.