IN PURSUIT OF A STORY, Kim O'Connell has drunk Civil War-style black coffee brewed over an open flame, climbed up to the roofs of major historic buildings under renovation, helped reconstruct a 1940s house for a MoMA installation in New York, and hiked across some of the nation's most significant landscapes and sites, from national parks to Civil War battlefields.
Her work appears in numerous national and regional publications on topics ranging from American history to modern architecture to conservation and sustainability to parenting. In September 2015, she was the first-ever writer to serve as the artist in residence at Shenandoah National Park.
Kim has also written 15 nonfiction reference books for young people on science and history topics, with some titles earning recognition from the Children's Book Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her essays about selective mutism, a lesser-known social anxiety disorder, have appeared in The Washington Post, Babble, Yahoo! News, and PsychologyToday.com, among other publications. She also teaches in the Johns Hopkins University Masters in Science Writing program. As part of her duties, she recently co-taught a writing residency for science writers in and around Acadia National Park, Maine.
Kim is now working on a book about Vietnamese immigration in the United States, which is partly a history and partly a memoir of her quest to relate to her own Vietnamese heritage. Kim has published short fiction and poetry as well.
In her spare time, Kim loves to read (current favorites are The End of Night and The Refugees), go to concerts (anything from the Bacon Brothers to the Foo Fighters), and hang out with friends, but her favorite thing is being out on a mountain trail or at the beach with her husband and two kids. She lives in a historic and charming neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, where she is proud to have memorized her library card number.
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