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Z.O.S. is a memoir about Sex Blood Money and the CIA in Southeast Asia. Kay Merkel Boruff tells the story from her perspective of wife and widow of an Air America pilot killed during covert operations in Laos. She takes the reader there as only one who has been there can. You experience the highs, understand the efforts to escape the constant fear of the dangerous reality these American heroes faced daily, feel the anguish of her loss and the isolation of the “zone of silence” she is required to live in for the rest of her life. 


“From a rare and resonant point of view, Kay Merkel Boruff’s memoir offers an utterly compelling and smartly written tale of the Viet-Nam War and its aftermath. Z.O.S. is a necessary work for a full understanding of the human toll of those times.”

         —Robert Olen Butler Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

        A Good Scent from a    

        Strange Mountain 


“Told in lyrical and vivid style that is at times dazzling in its specificity and intensity, the memoir traces Kay Merkel Boruff’s arduous path through a lifelong grieving process spent coming to terms not only with the death of her husband but also with the spiritual demons she lived with as a younger woman.”

         —C.W. Smith author of Buffalo Nickel and                                 Understanding Women.


“I strongly recommend Z.O.S. to any Gen-X or Millennials seeking an understanding of friends and family who survived Viet-Nam and especially to any women struggling to balance society’s traditional expectations within the context of extreme situations.”         

         —Mary Ann Thompson-Fenk

        President The Memnosyne Institute


Kay Merkel Boruff, as a teacher at The Hockaday School 1973—2010, studied with Naomi Shihab Nye, Li-Young Lee, Tim O’Brien, Madeleine L’Engle, and Robert Olen Butler. She unveiled the Air America Memorial at UTD with CIA Director William Colby. Armed with the philosophy carpe diem, she attended Burning Man and climbed Wayna Picchu, chasing another adventure in her “zone of silence.” 

Name: Kay Merkel Boruff

Format: Print & e-reader

Pages: 226

Price: $18.95 pb; $23.95 hb

IBSN: 978-1-68433-692-8 pb

IBSN: 978-1-944715-30-4 hb

IBSN: 9781684330928 e-reader

Publication Date: 8/16.18 

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