Kim's latest memoir, Shooting Out the Lights.

"This real-life mystery is as riveting and absorbing as any genre fiction."

--Phillip Lopate, author of A Mother's Tale

"A riveting book that builds ominously."

--Jerry S. Walden, MD, founder of Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence."

SHOOTING  OUT  THE  LIGHTS

"Fairley scores a bull's-eye with her rich and complex memoir, Shooting Out the Lights. Fairley's gift of mesmerizing storytelling and intimately crafted characters make the reader feel as if they are sitting at her kitchen table. Shooting Out the Lights is a compelling memoir that will have the reader thinking about it long after turning the last page."

-- Renee Hodges, author of Saving Bobby

Kim tells her story of falling in love with and marrying fifty-seven-year-old Vern when she was twenty-four. Something about Vern―his quirkiness, his humor, his devilish smile―made her feel an immediate connection with him. She quickly became pregnant, but instead of the idyllic interlude she’d imagined as she settled into married life and planned for their family, their love was soon tested by the ghosts of Vern’s past―a town, a house, a family, a memory.

In Shooting Out the Lights, Fairley explores the challenges faced in a loving marriage, the ongoing, wrenching aftermath of gun violence, and the healing that comes with confronting the past.

Shooting Out the Lights, published by  She Writes Press, will be available July 27.

The book can be pre-ordered through any of your local or national retailers:

Boreal Ties: Photographs and Two Diaries of the 1901 Peary Relief Expedition

Boreal Ties

Boreal Ties: Photographs and Two Diaries of the 1901 Peary Relief Expedition, published by the University of New Mexico Press,  provides an intimate and unforgettable impression of two friends aboard a ship in the Arctic during the summer of 1901.

 

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Swimming for My Life  chronicles Kim's competitive swimming experience during the early years of Title IX. It will be published by She Writes Press.

 “Maybe nostalgia is a form of longing. It aches for history…My place. My people.”

    —Patricia Hampl,  Author of The Florist's Daughter

The Making of Boreal Ties

“I don’t know what to do with these.” My great aunt Betty handed me the 1901 photo album that had belonged to her father, Clarence Wyckoff. She pointed out crew members as well as several of the most famous Arctic explorers—Robert Peary, Dr. Frederick Cook, and Matthew Henson—as they stood on the deck of the Windward and Erik, conversing. The images included breathtaking views—icebergs, Inuit, lush and barren landscapes-- shot in the Thule region of northern Greenland.

I had spent most of my MFA program at the University of Michigan creating monumental collages about Arctic exploration. The famous explorers, seemingly close friends in my great grandfather’s photographs, had eight years later, become bitter enemies.

In 1909, returning with Matthew Henson from placing a flag at the North Pole, Peary learned that Dr. Frederick Cook had reached the Pole a year earlier. Peary had spent his entire career attempting to reach the Pole. He and his supporters found it impossible to accept that anyone else could beat him to it. So, along with Peary, they launched a national campaign to discredit Dr. Cook, which created a huge controversy that exists to this day.

Since Betty shared that her father always believed Dr. Cook and doubted Peary’s claim, when I finished my graduate degree, I set out to write a book about the 1901 expedition. I traveled with an album in hand to the National Archives, the Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress, Cornell University Library, the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

After identifying most of the images I transcribed my great grandfather’s diary. Knowing their reputation for producing beautiful books, I sent a proposal to the University of New Mexico Press, and they agreed to publication.

Thinking there might be other images floating around in the world, especially those taken by the other men on the 1901 expedition, I pored through my notes and found the name Silas Ayer as somebody Betty had recommended I contact. “He’s the grandson of Uncle Louie,” she said, referring to Louie Bement. I made countless phone calls and managed to track down Silas in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Silas and I met at the National Archives where we compared his grandfather’s album to Wyckoff’s. I also gathered the photograph files I’d studied the year before. Interestingly, many of Wyckoff’s and Bement’s photographs were taken on the same occasions, only seconds apart and from slightly different angles. Silas offered to contribute his photos and diary to my project. With his encouragement and feedback, I compiled the best images from the two collections, wrote an introduction, and with the expertise of the folks at the University of New Mexico Press, the book became a reality.

Baltimore Sun - Boreal Ties Article
Ithaca Journal - Boreal Ties Article

"Historians are lucky to have Wyckoff and Bement’s rare and extraordinary record of their voyage, and as a novelist I absolutely cherish my copy of Boreal Ties.The businessmen were not only in the right place in the right time, they were paying attention. To take such photographs, they clearly put themselves on scene, front and central, entering into a landscape and into the lives of people they depicted."

—Katherine Kirkpatrick,  Author of The Snow Baby: The Arctic Childhood of Admiral Robert E. Peary's Daring Daughter and Between Two Worlds.

 

The Making of Boreal Ties

“I don’t know what to do with these,” my great aunt Betty said when she handed me the 1901 photo album that had belonged to her father, Clarence Wyckoff. Betty pointed out crew members as well as several of the most famous Arctic explorers—Robert Peary, Dr. Frederick Cook, and Matthew Henson—standing on the deck of the Windward and Erik, conversing and enjoying themselves. The images included breathtaking views—icebergs, Inuit, lush and barren landscapes-- shot in the Thule region of northern Greenland.

I had spent most of my MFA program at the University of Michigan creating monumental collages that dealt with Arctic exploration. I was fascinated to learn that these famous explorers, seemingly close friends in my great grandfather’s photographs, had eight years later, become bitter enemies.

Baltimore Sun - Boreal Ties Article

In 1909, returning with Matthew Henson from placing a flag at the North Pole, Peary learned that Dr. Frederick Cook had reached the Pole a year earlier. Peary had spent his entire career attempting to reach the Pole. He and his supporters found it impossible to accept that anyone else could beat him to it. Together with his supporters, Peary launched a national campaign to discredit Dr. Cook, which created a huge controversy that exists to this day.

Since Betty shared that her father always believed Dr. Cook and was skeptical of Peary’s claim, when I finished my graduate degree, I set out to write a book about the 1901 expedition. I traveled with album in hand to the National Archives, the Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress, Cornell University Library, the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

After identifying most of the images and then transcribing my great grandfather’s diary, knowing their reputation for producing beautiful books, I sent a proposal to the University of New Mexico Press, and they agreed to publication.

Thinking there might be other images floating around in the world, especially those taken by the other men on the 1901 expedition, I pored through my notes and found the name Silas Ayer as somebody Betty had recommended I contact. “He’s the grandson of Uncle Louie,” she said, referring to Louie Bement. I made countless phone calls and managed to track down Silas in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Silas and I met at the National Archives where we compared his grandfather’s album to Wyckoff’s and to the photograph files I’d studied the year before. Interestingly, many of Wyckoff’s and Bement’s photographs were taken on the same occasions, only seconds apart and from slightly different angles. Silas offered to contribute his photos and diary to my project. With his encouragement and feedback, I compiled the best images from the two collections, wrote an introduction, and with the expertise of the folks at the University of New Mexico Press, the book became a reality.

Ithaca Journal - Boreal Ties Article