- Writers' Voices - 20071012 - Jeff Porter

Oppenheimer is Watching Me

Author Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter, author of "Oppenheimer is Watching Me" speaks about his book and writing process with Monica and Caroline.

Porter, a teacher in the English Department at the University of Iowa, specializes in literary nonfiction, documentary film, and digital media, with particular emphasis on science and technology. "Oppenheimer is Watching Me" takes literary nonfiction in a new direction by combining a very personal childhood memoir with a close-up look at some of the most historically signficant events of the time.

While researching the memoir that he started out to write, Porter discovered a 1948 Life magazine that his mother had saved, featuring a cover photo of Robert Oppenheimer, the "father of the atomic bomb" who fell from grace when he refused to endorse the development of the H-bomb. Oppenheimer's life becomes the central metaphor for Porter's story, which weaves back and forth between the personal and the political, with a poetic discussion of quantum physics thrown in for good measure.