PERSONAL: Born in TX; partner to Jess Goldstein (a costume designer). Education: Graduated from Yale School of Drama.
CAREER: Writer. Worked on ABC-TV programs Good Morning America and Primetime; staff writer for AMC series, The Lot. Executive developer of projects for various film and television companies; producer for PBS program Great Performances.
AWARDS, HONORS: Winner of an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award, for his coverage of 9/11.
The History of Swimming: A Memoir, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2006.
Author of screenplay Finding North.
SIDELIGHTS: Kim Powers’s first book, The History of Swimming: A Memoir, is both an examination of the unique relationship shared by twins, and a coming-of-age story of a gay man in the era of AIDS. Powers and his fraternal twin, Tim, were close as young children, grew apart as adolescents, and were in conflict as adults. Both identified themselves as homosexual, but they chose very different lifestyles. Kim made choices that brought him success, while Tim drifted into heavy drinking and eventually reached the point of making suicide attempts. When, at the age of twenty-eight, Tim suddenly drops out of sight altogether, Kim begins a search that leads him to various lovers, friends, and others who had encountered his brother. Fearing that Tim has been on a drinking binge, Kim fully expects to find him dead. The key to finding Tim turns out to be in a series of detailed letters the missing man has written to his brother over the years.
The author “writes with insight and intelligence about his brother’s flaws and fears and the telepathic tendencies of souls separated by a few breaths,” noted Allison Block in a Booklist review. The History of Swimming is “a powerful nod to familial bonding, written with verve and genuine affection,” according to a Kirkus Reviews writer. Library Journal contributor Elizabeth Brinkley found Tim’s letters “brilliant,” and one of the best features of the book, making it “an often humorous, moving look at one man’s complicated relationship with his brother.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Powers, Kim, The History of Swimming: A Memoir, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2006.
Advocate, October 24, 2006, David Ehrenstein, review of The History of Swimming, p. 58.
Booklist, August 1, 2006, Allison Block, review of The History of Swimming, p. 25.
Dallas Morning News, December 4, 2006, Chris Vognar, review of The History of Swimming.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2006, review of The History of Swimming, p. 623.
Library Journal, August 1, 2006, Elizabeth Brinkley, review of The History of Swimming, p. 109.
New York Times, September 17, 2006, Eve Conant, review of The History of Swimming,
Publishers Weekly, July 10, 2006, review of The History of Swimming, p. 68.
San Francisco Bay Times, November 16, 2006, Richard Labonte, review of The History of Swimming.
Washington Post, December 17, 2006, Juliet Wittman, review of The History of Swimming, p. BW10.
The History of Swimming Web site, http://www.thehistoryofswimming.com (January 12, 2007).*