Ann Ronald


Ann Ronald is Foundation Professor of English Emerita from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she taught for nearly forty years and where she served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Science between 1989 and 1996.  She has published nine books and countless articles about sense of place in fiction and literary nonfiction.   Beginning with The New West of Edward Abbey and continuing with Earthtones: A Nevada Album, GhostWest, Oh, Give Me a Home, and Reader of the Purple Sage, most of her work has focused on the American West.  Her latest book, Friendly Fallout 1953, deals with above-ground atomic testing at the Nevada Proving Ground, and is available from the University of Nevada Press.



Ann Ronald’s acclaimed book, Friendly Fallout 1953, is a fictional account of the men, women, and children who participated in, and were affected by, Nevada’s above-ground atomic testing program.  In this presentation, punctuated by readings from the book, Ronald describes how she drew on real life events, stories, and people to create the novel’s characters - from soldiers in the trenches to Las Vegas showgirls, from meteorologists to Paiute children, from atomic physicists to Mormon mothers.  She also describes what life in Nevada was like during the ‘50s and draws attention to the many similarities between that period and contemporary times. 

Note: This presentation can also include – depending on the interests of the host organization - discussion of Nevada’s 1950s nuclear testing program, or further exploration of the ways in which an author can use facts to make fiction.

Appropriate Audience: Adults, high school students.

Duration: 1-1½ hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements: 

  • N/A

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Nevada, literature