PERSONAL: Born in New York, NY; married a Marine chaplain. Education: Attended the University of Florida. Religion: Quaker. Hobbies and other interests: Amateur autocross racing.
CAREER: Writer. Volunteer for Marine Corps' family support program and Compass, the Navy's spouse mentoring program.
MEMBER: National Military Family Association, National Writers Union, Military Reporters and Editors, Orlando Place Writers Group, Resolve, Religious Society of Friends.
Driving by Moonlight: A Journey through Love, War, and Infertility (memoir), Seal Press (New York, NY), 2003.
While They're at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.
Contributor to the Washington Post magazine. Also contributor of short stories to various literary journals.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Sisterhood of War, for Houghton Mifflin.
SIDELIGHTS: After Kristin Henderson's Marine chaplain husband was sent to Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, she decided to drive across the country in her Corvette with her German shepherd. The trip resulted in her memoir, titled Driving by Moonlight: A Journey through Love, War, and Infertility. In the book, Henderson examines her contradicting beliefs about religion and politics and recounts both her physical and emotional journeys. She also reflects on the painful fertility treatments she endured during an unsuccessful attempt to conceive a child. Many critics praised the work; Nancy R. Ives, writing in the Library Journal, called it "an evocative story." A Publishers Weekly contributor acknowledged that Henderson is "a sophisticated and humorous writer," and Patricia Monaghan, writing for Booklist, maintained that "Henderson's complex, compelling, timely story will haunt her readers."
Henderson's second book, While They're at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront, is a collection gathered from over one hundred interviews with military families. Henderson focuses on the lives of two women, Beth Pratt and Marissa Bootes, as they try to cope with their husbands' deployment and their own adjustment to the military base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. "I chose Beth and Marissa because they were very different in many ways, with different experiences. Together they give you a hint of the many different facets of the military spouse experience," Henderson explained during a question-and-answer session posted on Washington Post Online. According to reviewers, the approach was effective. "This powerful, revealing, and sometimes painful book offers a look behind the scenes of military families," Vanessa Bush remarked in Booklist. A contributor to Publishers Weekly had a similar opinion: "This is an emotional book that effectively plies the complexities of military life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Henderson, Kristin, Driving by Moonlight: A Journey through Love, War, and Infertility, Seal Press (New York, NY), 2003
Booklist, October 15, 2003, Patricia Monaghan, review of Driving by Moonlight, p. 381; November 1, 2005, Vanessa Bush, review of While They're at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront, p. 16.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2005, review of While They're at War, p. 1172.
Library Journal, December, 2003, Nancy R. Ives, review of Driving by Moonlight, p. 132.
Publishers Weekly, August 25, 2003, review of Driving by Moonlight, p. 50; December 12, 2005, review of While They're at War, p. 48.
Kristin Henderson Home Page, http://www.kristinhenderson.com (March 20, 2006).
Mother Jones Online, http://www.motherjones.com/ (March 20, 2006), author profile.
Washington Post Online, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (October 12, 2004), question-and-answer session with author.