Amber Keyser

Amber Keyser

Amber Keyser’s recent anthology, THE V-WORD (Beyond Words/Simon Pulse, 2016), about women’s first time sexual experiences, was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 50 books for teens in 2016 and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. Her debut novel THE WAY BACK FROM BROKEN (Carolrhoda Lab), published to acclaim in 2015. Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book, “A quiet and memorable story of how paddling in the wilderness forces two unlikely friends to face their grief and embrace their power.” Amber’s powerful YA follow up, POINTE, CLAW, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly: “Keyser’s writing shimmers with raw emotion and empathy, and her finale, much like in dance, is poetic, bittersweet, and life affirming.” POINTE, CLAW publishes with Carolrhoda in spring 2017. Amber is also working on the forthcoming nonfiction UNDRESSED: A HISTORY OF WOMEN’S LINGERIE, coming spring 2018 from Twenty First Century Books. Her other books include SNEAKER CENTURY: A HISTORY OF ATHLETIC SHOES (Twenty-First Century Books, 2015),THE BASICS OF CELL LIFE WITH MAX AXIOM (Capstone Press, 2010), DECODING GENES WITH MAX AXIOM (Capstone Press, 2010), ANATOMY OF A PANDEMIC (Capstone Press, 2011), and AN ALGONQUIN HEART SONG: PADDLE MY OWN CANOE (Friends of Algonquin Park, 2007).

Amber is a former ballerina with a masters degree in zoology and a doctorate in genetics; she lives in Portland, Oregon. She is also the co-author of the middle grade series QUARTZ CREEK RANCH with Kiersi Burkhart. For more about Amber please visit her website at or on Twitter at @amberjkeyser.   

Agent: Fiona Kenshole

Underneath It All: A History of Women’s Underwear (Twenty-First Century, 2018)

“The biologist and writer offers a fascinating examination of an often under-explored facet of life—underwear. Undergarments for women have evolved throughout the centuries from simple, plain cloth tunics and elaborate corsets made with steel or whalebone stays and to today’s contemporary bralettes and more. Historically, Keyser asserts, underwear is designed to create what ever is perceived as a perfect body. Examples are the Gibson Girl and today’s Victoria Secret Angels. The book is divided into eight chapters that follow a historical time line and place the garments in perspective with the events and culture of the time period discussed. Chapters are illustrated and contain sidebars. The writing utilizes contemporary language and examples, citing Beyoncé and ad campaigns that challenge stereotypical views of beauty. Highlights of the book are the author’s citation of women historians, writers, and entrepreneurs. VERDICT A bit niche but endlessly fascinating, a great addition to nonfiction collections.
School Library Journal, Patricia Ann Owens, formerly at Illinois Eastern Community College, Mt. Carmel

Tying the Knot: A World History of Marriage (Twenty-First Century, 2017)

“What’s love got to do with it? Not much, Keyser asserts in this examination of the history of marriage. Up until about 250 years ago, marriage was mainly a transaction or union of couples that entailed political, social, and economic factors. Her discussion of traditions and customs from different cultures and countries is a fascinating and insightful one. All types of unions are explored in this book, including levirate, same-sex, green card, and polyandry marriages. Keyser is straightforward and objective in her examination of different views on the institution. She highlights how changes in society (women’s rights, economic conditions, divorce rates, etc.) as well as a general shifting of attitudes has greatly affected marital unions. Keyser’s book is well researched and greatly illustrated with photographs. VERDICT This highly readable text would be a commendable addition to a social science collection for its pertinent information on cultural studies.”
School Library Journal, Jeanette Lambert, formerly at Nashville-Davidson County Schools

Pointe, Claw (Carolrhoda Lab, 2017)
KATheV-WordBannerCov The V-Word (Beyond Words, 2016)
The Way Back From Broken (Carolrhoda, 2015)