Author(s): John Hersey
'The room was filled with a blinding light. She was paralysed by fear, fixed still in her chair for a long moment. Everything fell.'
2015 is the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, when, on 6 August at 8.15am, an atomic bomb was dropped, killing one hundred thousand men, women and children in its white fury. John Hersey's spare, devastating report on the attack was first published in the New Yorkerin 1946. Written in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, it chronicles what happened through the eyes of six civilians. It is a classic piece of journalism, and a defining moment of the nuclear age.
'One of the most powerful writers of modern times.' Washington Post
John Hersey was born in Tientsin, China, in 1914, and lived there until 1925, when his family returned to the United States. He studied at Yale and Clare College, Cambridge, served for a time as Sinclair Lewis's secretary, and then worked for several years as a journalist. He published seventeen works of fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize winning A Bell for Adano. Besides Hiroshima which was first published in 1946, he wrote six books of essays and reportage. He died in 1993.